Basketball legend laid to rest

Romello Ferrell, Staff Writer

On the morning of January 26, NBA superstar and retiree Kobe Bryant was killed at the age of 41 in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif.

Unfortunately, Bryant’s second daughter Gianna Bryant was also on board the same helicopter and died along with him. There were no survivors of the crash, and there were 9 fatalities altogether. The official cause of death for all of the victims was blunt force trauma. The other 7 victims were Alyssa, John, and Keri Altobelli; Payton and Sarah Chester; Ara Zobayan; and Christina Mauser.

Bryant was the founder of Mamba Sports Academy, which is a spacious training facility with youth and adult programs for sports. It educates and provides an opportunity for people to unlock their full potential for performance. Gianna, along with Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester, were team players of the academy’s basketball team. In later reports of the crash, they were all headed to their basketball practice before their tragic deaths.

NBA Star Lebron James told media outlets that he looked to Bryant as a notable figure in his life and career as he just recently broke Bryant’s record by being the third of all-time leading scorers with over 33,644 points, knocking Kobe to being fourth.

Despite his high-class celebrity status, local civilians and people all over the world mourned his unexpected death. On Instagram, people have changed their profile pictures to honor the sudden death of both Kobe and Gianna. Fans of Bryant even celebrate his legacy by wearing purple and yellow attire to represent the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team, which was the team Bryant won many NBA championships with.

Bryant spent exactly 20 years playing in the NBA ever since his start at age 17. He was one of the most famous and decorated athletes in history. His most notable nickname given to himself was “Black Mamba.” His reasoning for choosing to name himself after the snake was because of his desire to have his basketball skills to mimic the snake’s ability to strike with 99 percent accuracy at maximum speed. Gianna earned the nickname, “Mambacita” from her father as she was going to be basketball’s female version of him.

Both of them were just recently laid to rest in a private ceremony in early February, but a public memorial service for Bryant and the other victims will be held at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles on Feb. 24.