I’m sure that anyone reading this story has heard the awful news: Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Marie, and 7 other victims died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, CA. Kobe was 41 years old. Gianna was 13.

This story is not to tell the facts. I find it to be a better memorial to Kobe if I describe what he meant rather than tell the story. I want to use this platform to show what Kobe Bryant meant to a kid from North Texas who’s been a Lakers fan his whole life.

The majority of my Sunday was spent in tears, it was hard to believe that Kobe was truly gone; I mean, he couldn’t be. Kobe is larger than life, he cannot die. More news began to roll in, describing more details that killed a real life superhero.

The news was devastating…the news is still devastating. As I’m writing this, I still am in disbelief. It’s Kobe, he cannot die. Kobe as a player was amazing, but he was even better as a human.

It seems like everyday there’s been another player, coach, or friend that has come out and told a story of Kobe helping them, or making them laugh. The mass amount of people that this man touched is truly astonishing.

For me; Kobe was a mythical figure, someone that my Dad has told me about my whole life. “Kobe and Shaq would’ve had 6 straight if they would’ve stayed together,” he would say. I was always in awe at the stories, then when I began seeing his greatness for myself, I was in awe of the player. Kobe’s presence on the court was like no other, he could pull up from anywhere on the court. His defense was amazing. Players respected him on and off the court.

Kobe’s death has hit me harder than any other athlete death in my life. It hurts. However, I find solace in the fact that he lived his life to the fullest everyday. While his life was short, Kobe did more than anyone else. In a way, I’m right: Kobe cannot die, his spirit and passion will keep his memory alive forever.

Side Note: Molly Knight of The Athletic wrote an Obituary for Gianna Bryant that is a must read.

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