The legacy of Kobe Bryant

The dynasty and great career of Kobe Bryant was legendary and should never be forgotten.

The dynasty and great career of Kobe Bryant was legendary and should never be forgotten.

Jaden Scamehorn and Bradley Clark, Memorial staff writers

“Heroes come and go but legends live forever,” said a true legend, Kobe Bryant. On Sun. Jan. 26, the world lost one of the most influential players basketball has ever known. 

Earlier that day, nine people were flying with Bryant to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, Cali. when the helicopter crashed. Conditions for flying saw fog and wind stirring in the city of Los Angeles. The helicopter was flying alarmingly low, trying to escape the foggy conditions. The pilot of the helicopter attempted to climb the chopper over a mountain, mere minutes away from the Mamba Sports Academy. 

Local radar data showed that around 9:45 a.m., the helicopter climbed 2,300 feet and began a left descending turn. This would be the last data record by their radar.

Moments later, circulation came in from TMZ reporting the tragic incident. Whole families would be affected, and unfortunately lost.

Kobe Bryant and his 13 year old daughter, Gianna Bryant, were among the nine killed in the accident. Alongside them were Gianna’s best friend Alyssa Altobelli (13) along with both her parents, John Altobelli (56) and Keri Altobelli (46), coach Christina Mauser (38), pilot Ara Zobayan (50), Peyton Chester (13) and her mother Sarah Chester (45). 

The impact this event has had on athletes and coaches alike cannot be overstated. The suddenness of it all

still on the minds of many.

NBA superfan Miguel Garcia fondly remembers watching Bryant play basketball from a young age, and will 

never forget the game when Kobe scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors. It’s why he struggled to accept it at first when the news broke involving Bryant passing, believing it to be a sick joke, commonly seen on parody social media accounts.

“When I first heard about it from a small page on Instagram, I thought it was fake, but after big sports 

industries released the news, I was truly devastated,” Garcia said. “He was freshly into retirement and didn’t 

deserve anything like this, it’s truly depressing to hear about, especially with his daughter also being Involved.”

 Garcia sees the tragedy as a reminder that we should all cherish our lives, and be the best we can be.

Senior point guard Dexter Campbell also took a lot from this tragedy. He remembers Bryant helping the 

2006 Los Angeles Lakers pushed past the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the playoffs that year. It’s one of the many things that added to his affinity for him and his pursuit of playing basketball. It’s also why he hasn’t quite been focused since he heard the news shortly after it broke.

“My emotions have been everywhere” Campbell said. “There’s nothing that can change what happened,

especially since his daughter and everyone on board passed away too.”

Since the tragedy, Campbell and the team have rallied around each other, making sure they work under what 

Bryant called “Mamba Mentality.” It was a mindset he used in his everyday life to always achieve his goals.

Campbell sees Bryant’s life as a lesson that others can learn from and follow as we all move forward and strive

towards our ambitions.

“He showed people how if you want to be the best, you have to put in the time, stay true to it, never give up 

and don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do something,” Campbell said.

Assistant coach of EMHS varsity basketball team, Cobly Connel, was also inspired by Kobe and wore his 

number during his highschool career. He wasn’t always a fan of him though. 

Growing up as a Suns fan, he would always root against Kobe and the Lakers whenever they would face off. However distaste towards him changed, as he got older and began coaching basketball.  It’s why the news was hard for him to hear after he took a break from an indoor soccer match.  

“Hearing the news on Sunday really bummed me out and even affected me personally for a couple of days,” Connel said. “He started to become more of a dad, and we were beginning to see where he was going to spend his time and effort.”

Connel hopes that what happened will show more focus on the game of basketball and the lives of loved ones.

“I believe that this event shined a light on Kobe’s impact on basketball, and it needed to be shown,” Connel said. 

Connel, also sees this moment as an ideal time to reflect on his role as a parent. He feels as if other 

fathers are taking this event to heart.

EMHS boy’s varsity basketball coach Shane Cowherd was also hit hard as a father, husband and coach upon hearing the news while driving home. 

“I can’t imagine anything more horrific and tragic as a father,” Cowherd said. “I can only imagine what was

going through those parents minds in those final seconds.”

Cowherd believes that the event still rings around the world due to the rise and attraction of social media. “Social media has exposed us to athletes in ways we haven’t seen before,” Cowherd said. “Kobe knew this and was a genius with how he was able to market himself and take care of his brand, which in-part is why we felt like we knew him, making it feel like we lost a family member.”

From a parental and basketball standpoint, Cowherd has seen the team and those around the world mourn over the legend lost. While he saw a great competitor on the court, he saw an even better father and role model off.

“From a competitive standpoint, he is one of the greatest competitors of all time,” Cowherd said.” I think 

He was a fantastic dad and he was so focused on loving his girls and giving them the opportunity to find their own ways towards greatness.”

Cowherd also views the event as a reminder of his role as a father, and the importance of cherishing life, knowing that tomorrow is never promised.

“Seeing young dads and basketball dads alike use social media to tag #girl dad is one of many things from

a parental aspect that shows how parents want to invest in their kids and loved one’s lives.” Cowherd said. “I think this event refocused me onto realizing how important it is to spend every moment with my loved ones, telling and showing my kids and my family that I love them.”

Memorial’s students, faculty and athletes will all remember Kobe in one form or another. Even 

Though some people at Memorial never knew him or witnessed his amazing talent, the leadership and lessons he displayed in endurance and hard work will never be forgotten.

Contact Jaden Scamehorn and Bradley Clark at [email protected]