The death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant shook not only the sports community but the entire world. Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant tragically died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, CA on Sunday, along with seven others while traveling to a basketball camp run by him.
Kobe Bryant was a role model and inspiration, not only for his play on the basketball court but his wisdom and motivation. There was always positive comments to be said about Kobe Bryant, he left a mark on the entire world.
Kobe Bryant’s death left an impact on not just professional sports, but collegiate sports as well. Many players on the Montclair State men’s and women’s basketball teams looked up to Kobe Bryant growing up playing basketball.
Junior guard Taylor Brown from the Red Hawks women’s basketball team shared her thoughts on the impact Kobe Bryant instilled in her.
“I was really shocked and stunned when I found out the news of the tragic accident,” Brown said. “He was a great role model for all athletes, especially basketball players, and inspired me to believe in the ability to achieve anything as long as you have confidence and work your hardest each day. Kobe also taught me the importance of family as he was an incredible father to his wife and four daughters. My thoughts and prayers go out to him, his daughter, those also affected by this incident and his family and friends.”
The impact of Kobe Bryant’s death was met with sadness within the locker room of the Red Hawk men’s basketball team as well. Many of the players grew up watching Kobe Bryant and his most iconic moments, including his 2009 and 2010 championship runs.
Junior forward/center Peter Obertan believes that the death of Kobe Bryant could serve as an important life lesson to all of us.
“He was truly an inspiration to many basketball players in the world as well as a respected father, husband and coach,” Obertan said. “This teaches us to never take a day for granted and to make the most out of every day because you never know what could happen.”
Kobe Bryant’s work ethic and passion for the game is something that few athletes in the history of sports can match, and many of the players used that as a source of motivation.
“He was someone that was the bar to determine if you were great or not,” senior guard/forward Justin Porter said. “[He taught us] how to do everything with love and nurture it with everything walking moment.”
This work ethic was dubbed “Mamba Mentality,” something that freshman guard Keyon Price carries with him today.
He was an inspiration for me to study the game and work like nobody else, and to live by one mentality to take with me everywhere I go,” Price said. “The Mamba Mentality.”
It is clear that the legacy of Kobe Bryant will live on forever for everyone who knew him. However, for the members of the men’s and women’s basketball team, Bryant will forever hold a place in their hearts for cultivating their love for basketball.