RHS Remembers Kobe and Gianna Bryant

Ruth Mesfin and Samrawit Kopessa

On Sunday morning, five people were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.

Numerous news outlets followed reports of the death of Kobe Bryant, a former NBA basketball player, along with his daughter Gianna Bryant, shocking individuals across the country.

Kobe Bryant was a son, a husband, a father of four, and a role model for children, sparking them to pursue their hopes and dreams.

Bryant began his career right after high school, playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, winning five NBA championships and being recognized as one of the best basketball players in history.

In his career, Bryant had received awards including being 2-time NBA Finals MVP, 18-time NBA All- Star, 4-time NBA All- Star Game MVP, etc, later retiring in 2016.

The night before his death, “Bryant was passed by Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James for third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list”, giving LeBron nothing but love and support.

After the Lakers game, Bryant, Gianna, and seven other passengers were headed to Mamba Sports Academy, an established sports facility where Bryant taught at, for a basketball game.

Bryant’s daughter, Gianna Bryant, was 13 years old when she passed away in the crash. Kobe and Gianna shared a special bond of their love for basketball, having Gianna following her father’s footsteps.

Gianna to many was full of potential, talent, and had her whole life still ahead of her.
After ending his basketball career, Kobe decided to coach Gianna’s middle school team, acknowledging how naturally gifted she was on the court.

Coach Palmer, the athletic director says, “It can affect the basketball team in positive and negative ways. In negative ways it’s really sad and dealing with those kinds of emotions is difficult because a lot of our players grew up with him, he was a big role model for him. For them the Mamba mentality has been adapted and embraced in their process in trying to be the best basketball player they can be. It can also be positive because it can cause people to be thankful for what they have and to be encouraged by all the things he did off and on the floor.

Across social media, celebrities and fans have sent prayers to Bryant’s family, remembering the father and daughter duo, having a memorial at the Staples Center. On Tuesday, Rangeview held a basketball game remembering Kobe and Gianna urging everyone to wear yellow and purple.

“Kobe Bryant made my love of basketball expand way beyond the court. He taught me and everyone around me that loves life and loves basketball, to never settle for mediocrity and to live life authentically,” said senior basketball player Isaiah Sweetwine. “Watching the way he played and studying his game has always left me in awe, [he was] a truly unquestionable competitor and inspiration.”

In the words of Kobe Bryant, “The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.”