Kobe and Gianna Bryant were more than just two basketball players... they were a father and a daughter, a husband and a sister, and a friend to many. Kobe Bean Bryant came into the league as a 17 year old kid after playing for Lower Marion High School in Ardmore Pennsylvania. It was the year of 1996, a young boys dream came true as he was drafted into the NBA. Bryant was drafted 13th by the Charlotte Hornets but was quickly traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for center Vlade Divac. Kobe, in his 20 year career with the Lakers.. quickly amazed fans around the league with his “Mamba Mentality”. What is “Mamba Mentality”? You may be asking.. it’s a will to work harder than many, to have killer instinct, to be the best at what you do. Kobe didn’t lack any of that. He wasn’t flawed on the offensive end. He had a killer mid range, efficient three point game, and didn’t lack any defense. You could say Kobe was as complete as a player could get. As many of you know, Kobe wore the number 8 at the start of his NBA career and after 10 seasons changed his number to 24. Number 8 represents the younger version of himself who broke into the league and played with a adored confidence, while number 24 covered his chest from the beginning of the 06-07 season through the rest of his career symbolizing the mature, veteran he had become.
•Here is a list of some of Kobe’s accomplishments:
5× NBA champion (2000–2002, 2009, 2010)
2× NBA Finals MVP (2009, 2010)
NBA Most Valuable Player (2008)
18× NBA All-Star (1998, 2000–2016)
4× NBA All-Star Game MVP (2002, 2007, 2009, 2011)
11× All-NBA First Team (2002–2004, 2006–2013)
2× All-NBA Second Team (2000, 2001)
2× All-NBA Third Team (1999, 2005)
Not only was he a great basketball player.. but he was also an amazing husband and father. Bryant was a family man and also ran his daughters travel basketball team, the Mamba Academy. Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant (13) was taken tragically too soon with her father Kobe in the helicopter crash that took nine lives from this earth.
Gianna, like her father was also an amazing basketball player with so much to look forward to. Gianna was no doubt going to uphold his legacy as she had her sights set to play for the UConn Huskies. Kobe said in a recent interview after being told he “needed a son to uphold his legacy” that his 13 year old daughter said “I got this” which spoke volumes. Gianna (aka: Mambacita) had the same Mamba Mentality as her father. She was constantly on the court, in the gym, watching games, and studying new moves to add to her game. It’s no doubt that she was going to be a special talent to the basketball world.
Kobe, alongside his super model wife Vanessa had three other daughters, Natalia Diamante Bryant (17), Bianca Bella Bryant (3), and Capri Kobe Bryant (7 months). His eldest daughter Natalia (5’10) is a successful volleyball player, playing middle hitter for Sage Hill High School in Los Angeles, California. Natalia has gotten allot of press from the national sports media due to her volleyball talents.
Thoughts & Prayers go out to the families who have been affected by this tragic incident. May God be with them and may we hold our loved ones close. We are never promised tomorrow.