This morning, NBA legend Kobe Bryant was involved in a helicopter crash which killed him, his 13 year old daughter Gianna, and a reported seven other people according to ABC News. LMU students and fans of Bryant shared their thoughts on the tragic passing of the five-time NBA champion.
Max Himmelright, sophomore political science major: "One of my earliest memories in sports is watching the Lakers win the title when I was in fourth grade. Kobe was such an impactful part of my youth and the youth of so many. He was basketball to me. Kobe was sports to me. In every game I played, be it in lacrosse, cross country, or basketball, I tried to be Kobe. I tried to be the mamba. The amount of nights I stayed up late with my Dad cheering on the Lakers is uncountable. I carry those memories and experiences with me to this day, and I always will. I’m grateful to Kobe for inspiring so many, including myself, to work hard and never let up. Thank you Kobe for everything. Rest In Peace.
Nik Hohler, freshman accounting major: “I’m from LA and I grew up in LA, so Kobe is kind of like a childhood hero for me. Hearing the news is just heartbreaking. He’s only 41. I just can’t imagine him being gone so early. Also, his daughter died too … It’s just sad. I’m just praying for his wife and his other daughters.”
Ian Roddy, sophomore economics major: I grew up watching Kobe Bryant, like a lot of people my age ... He's just synonymous with hard work and devotion to whatever he puts his mind to: basketball for 20 years in the NBA and his family after he retired. He's someone that anyone could strive to be like and grow up to emulate. He's one of my favorite players of all time, probably my favorite.
Daniel Oliden, junior marketing major: "Kobe was an inspiration to me growing up, he's the reason I wore no. 24 in all of the sports I played. It's very sad to see him go and he will be missed throughout all of L.A."
Diana Gaitan, sophomore sociology major: "My heart is very heavy. Kobe means so much to me. He was one of the reasons I started playing basketball. He was one of the most hard working person and player ever on and off the court...[Rest in peace] to Kobe and his daughter Gigi as well."
Christian Shiffra, junior economics major: I feel like everyone knows Kobe. My mom does not care about sports at all and even she texted me about Kobe dying. His death is a big deal."
Mike Farland, freshman humanities major: “When I heard the news, my friends were talking about it through text, so I went and I looked it up and I was just shocked. I mean, I was not the biggest sports kid. I was the worst basketball player on the team. But I knew who Kobe Bryant was. I mean, kids would show up every day with Black Mamba shirts wearing their Kobe shoes … You knew him because he was a legendary athlete. Everybody knew him because he was just the guy. The Black Mamba.”
Christian Blair, sophomore Recording Arts major: "I think there's a certain amount of cultural impact [when] someone dedicates their life to a sport that is prominent in society's mind, as [that person will have] a significant societal impact. And having Kobe pass away today, very tragically and very abruptly, will really impact culture, and really impact not only the NBA, but also just basketball as a sport itself...It's just so sad to not have that sort of person in the world anymore."