Sports Spotlight: A Tribute to Kobe Bryant

Catie McArthur

On January 26th, the world lost one of the most talented athletes of all time; Kobe Bryant, a man who changed the entire culture of basketball within his 20 seasons of playing for the NBA, perished along with eight others (including his 13 year old daughter Gianna ) in a helicopter accident. 

Bryant began his NBA career in 1996 fresh out of high school. Drafted by the Charlotte Hornets, Bryant was then traded to the Los Angeles Lakers where he played for the rest of his career. When he was 34, he became the youngest player in league history to reach 30,000 career points and was the Lakers all-time leading scorer in franchise history. He was also a part of the U.S national team during the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics where he went on to earn two gold medals. 

Bryant spoke openly about passing his love and natural talent of basketball down to his daughter, Gianna. Wanting to follow in the footsteps of her father, she was an amazing basketball player and had dreams of playing in the WNBA one day. Gianna had a perfect opportunity to change and impact not only women’s basketball, but all women’s sports in a way that could potentially be indescribable. 

Kobe and GiGi’s legacy will live on through through his three other daughters, Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. It also extends to anyone who has ever thrown a balled up piece of paper into the trash and yelled “Kobe!” while doing. As a man who many looked up to, idolized, and aspired to emulate, Bryant will never be forgotten.