By: Malachi Diaz (Correspondent)
Depressing news shocked the world on January 26th, 2020 when NBA legend Kobe Bryant passed away while he was in route to coach his daughter’s basketball game.
While he was on his way to coach his daughter, Gigi’s, basketball game, Kobe’s helicopter crashed into a mountain by Calabasas, California on January 26th, 2020. Flying through poor weather conditions, the pilot steered the helicopter too low to the ground.
Sharon High School freshman Sebastian Brathwaite says he was a huge fan of Kobe Bryant and looked up to him as someone who had a great mindset. “I have his jerseys in my room, I always watched him when he came on, and his sudden death was just an overall shock to me that sent me into a slight depression for a week,” said Brathwaite.
Brathwaite adds that Kobe inspired him greatly throughout his life. “Kobe was my hero and an inspiration to me and he made me have that killer mindset to want to improve myself and be the best that I can be at everything I do, but also to improve others around me,” said Brathwaite.
Sharon High School freshman Talha Kausar says that Kobe was one of his favorite players and he enjoyed the respect people were giving Kobe by wearing his number. “Kobe was my favorite player and—I am sure—many other people’s favorite player, and I found it very lovely how players wore his number pre-game,” said Kausar.
Kausar says he saw players like Trae Young wear Kobe’s number, as well as the whole Lakers team warm up in a mix of number 8 and 24 jerseys in honor of Kobe. “It was the right thing to do considering Kobe inspired many players worldwide,” he said.
“Kobe was one of those players everyone just seemed to love and had respect for and it really is showing right now,” added Kausar.
Sharon High School freshman, Amaan Ahmad, says he loved to see how players are paying tribute to Kobe by taking a 24-second shot clock violation and an 8-second backcourt violation.
“It’s just great to see you know, Kobe was a competitor, but at the end of the day he still had everyone’s respect and players still held him with high regard teammate or not and the violations are just part of them showing that,” said Ahmad.
Fans packed the Staples Center in Los Angeles where Bryant played all his NBA home games for an internationally broadcasted memorial for the Hall of Fame inductee.