When I first heard the news, I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t want to.
“Kobe Bryant died.”
No, no he didn’t… I thought. I abruptly grabbed my phone. Checked different news websites. Checked and scrolled through social media. Checked the news. And it was confirmed.
Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash at the age of 41.
I was stunned. He was my favorite basketball player and one of the greatest players to ever play the game. I’ve been a Lakers fan since I was a little girl and have remained a loyal fan to this day, so learning that he passed away was devastating and heartbreaking. I had his poster on my wall. I’d watch Lakers games. And during the NBA playoffs, my dad, brother, and I would watch him do what he did best – ball.
He came into the league right out of high school and then began what would later become a legendary career as a Los Angeles Laker. His skillset, work ethic, accomplishments, and stats speak for themselves. And his on the court and off the court endeavors were extraordinary. He was an exceptional athlete and family man that made the kind of moves that could challenge us all to practice what we’re good at, and dedicate our time, energy, and lives to service and a calling and purpose that goes beyond who we are.
Kobe Bryant was an icon.
His legacy will remain amongst those who were great and will encourage those who aspire to be great to keep rising to the next level. He had respect for the game. He was dedicated to his craft. He knew how to win. And he will be greatly missed.
This is an unbelievable loss that will take time to process: the lives lost in the helicopter crash, his family, the NBA, and fans all over the world. This untimely passing is also a reminder that life is short.
Love people. Learn to let things go that don’t matter. Live on purpose. And be great.
Rest in peace, Kobe Bryant. Mamba forever.