Kobe Bryant will forever be remembered as the 20-year Laker who won five championships, three being second star to Shaq and two with Pau Gasol as the only other all star on his team. Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash one year ago on January 26, 2020. Although the Black Mamba is not with us anymore, Mamba mentality and the legacy left behind will continue to shape the future of athletes and competition.
Jason Uipi, a junior at HSU and resident of Los Angeles, was sitting in the HSU Library on that day when he heard the news of Bryant’s death.
“He was just that [guy] to me,” Uipi said. “Being a Laker fan and seeing his work ethic was crazy. He had everyone’s respect including his rivals.”
Kevin Arias, an HSU freshman also from LA, thinks there may not be another player with the mindset like Bryant again.
“His mindset is what set him apart from everyone,” Arias said. “ As a Laker fan it was very fun to watch one of the greats. He was an inspiration to us kids growing up watching him be loyal and successful.”
Dante Cappellano, a junior at HSU and lifelong Laker fan, was devastated when he learned of Bryant’s death.
“I cried thinking about his family and all that he did for others was now gone.” Cappellano said. “He was that Mamba mentality that symbolized grinding until you are the best at what you do.”
However, Kobe Bryant was not the only one to lose his life that day. Bryant’s daughter Gianna lost her life as well. Kobe had been taking Gianna to a basketball event when the helicopter crashed in a Los Angeles field.
“His daughter had so much promise and work ethic in her,” Cappellano said. “ The world not having them in it anymore is a terrible thought.”
Although Kobe Bryant is not with us anymore, what he brought to the table as a lifetime Laker will never be forgotten. Bryant will forever change the game of basketball even if it is through what he left behind. The words and teachings of the Black Mamba will never be forgotten by his peers, fans, and loved ones.
“ Everything negative – pressure, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise.” —Kobe Bean Bryant
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