ON JANUARY 26, 2020, the world was in complete shock. It was reported that NBA All-Star Kobe Bryant, daughter Gianna Bryant, and seven other passengers were killed in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, California. Kobe had inspired many basketball players to pursue their sports careers. He seemed to be an inspiration for many sports fans and athletes. His influence was so widespread that his existence reached those far outside casual viewers of the NBA. The whole world grieved their sudden passings. Both students and teachers at Granger were very surprised. A variety of students gave their condolences on social media.
Gene Nelson (11) grew up admiring the “Black Mamba.” He was a massive motivation for Nelson to start playing the game of basketball at an early age. Along with having so much love for the NBA player, he had studied his iconic moves and tried figuring out the type of mindset he had throughout his games. Once the news reached Nelson of the Bryants’ passings, he was in a shocked state. It has been affecting him ever since he found out, but he will do his best to keep their legacies alive. “I study him a lot and I use him as a guide. Not many people could do it like he did. He was the best to ever do it and he will forever be a legend,” Nelson said.
Yonis Abdi (12) wasn’t really a big fan of Kobe. Although, he did grow up having knowledge of who Bryant was. Abdi did truly adore Bryant’s ways of thinking while he was on the courts. He also loved the way he lived his life with his family which made Abdi take pleasure in living his own life. During school, whenever he had a piece of trash, he’d take a shot by throwing it into a nearby trash can while yelling, “Kobe!” It’s still so surreal to Abdi to know that the famous basketball player is gone and is even sadder to acknowledge that Gianna Bryant had such a bright future ahead of her. “Enjoy everything you can when it’s given to you,” Abdi said.
Mr. Hughes has always enjoyed basketball at all levels. He sees Bryant as an enormous icon. When finding out about the passings, he shared the same emotions as Nelson and Abdi. Hughes has been working for quite some time at the Vivint Smart Home arena where Jazz basketball games are held and has been present multiple times at games in which Bryant played. He admired a lot of things about Bryant, especially what he did as a family man. “Kobe Bryant is legendary and his fame has certainly transcended basketball and into other areas of life,” Hughes said.
For basketball fans and non-fans alike, Kobe and Gianna’s deaths were a shock for everyone. It was shocking to see the end of the legacy they left behind, and to see lives cut so short when there was so much left for them to do. Despite the many hardships he faced in his life, Kobe found a way to prosper and treat the people close to him with kindness. Kobe was known to be a truly kind, hard-working man. In the moment of his death, Kobe’s accomplishments demanded nothing less than respect out of the reactions of people. People gave their respects not only as a tribute to his triumphs, but simply to show compassion towards the untimely death of an outstanding human being.