Daytona State College
On January 26, 2020 a tragedy that was felt throughout the world occurred. This tragedy was of course, the death of the legendary Kobe Bryant. The news of Kobe’s death was unreal, like a nightmare that you hope to wake up from and realize it was only a bad dream. Nobody was expecting this tragedy; in an instant the world lost a legend. Kobe Bryant…the 17-year-old kid out of Lower Merion High School who was passed up by 12 teams, until being selected by the Charlotte Hornets who immediately traded him away to the Los Angeles Lakers. Every basketball fan knows the story of Bryant’s greatness. The 17-year-old kid went on to win five NBA championships, make 17 consecutive NBA All-Star appearances, and became one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
While Bryant’s basketball accolades are extraordinary, his impact off the basketball court was even more amazing. “Kobe” became a household name that people in every part of the world knew. He influenced many kids who grew up watching him, including myself. Kobe was a role model who inspired millions of people, no matter their race or ethnicity. Every “hooper” I knew aspired to become the next Kobe Bryant. Perhaps, this is the reason why his death was such a tragedy. Or maybe Kobe’s death was a rude awakening to how easily life can be taken away. The man who seemed so invincible and untouchable on the basketball court died in an instant.
Kobe Bryant’s life may be over, but his legacy is eternal. The duty of carrying on this wonderful legacy falls onto the shoulders of all who were motivated by Kobe. We must never forget the positive impact he had on our world. We must spread the “Mamba Mentality” to all who need inspiration. Kobe’s own encouraging words define the true meaning of “Mamba Mentality”:
“Have a good time. Life is too short to get bogged down and be discouraged. You have to keep moving. You have to keep going. Put one foot in front of the other, smile and just keep on rolling.”
– Kobe Bean Bryant: The Black Mamba