Rest in power Black Mamba and Mambacita

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On Sunday, January 26th, 2020, the world lost one of the greatest athletes to ever live. Kobe Bryant and his 13 year old daughter, Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant, were killed in an helicopter crash along with seven other passengers.

Kobe was drafted to the NBA in 1996 to the Los Angeles Lakers and played two decades with them until his retirement in 2016.  His amazing career is highlighted by five NBA titles, two Olympic gold medals and 18 All-Star appearances. 

He defined himself as his generation’s fiercest competitor in any sport, possessing a sublime all-around game and a relentless competitive spirit.  A prolific shot-maker and one of the toughest players to guard in the league, Kobe penned his alter-ego the “Black Mamba”, inspired by the deadly assassin in Quentin Tarantino’s 2003 movie “Kill Bill”.   “The name [Kobe Bryant] just evokes such a negative emotion, if I create this alter ego now when I step on that court I become that killer snake. I’m stone cold, man.”, he said. 

“Mamba mentality” is the term Kobe coined to describe the level of intense focus and relentless approach he took both in preparation and competition.  His daughter Gianna followed in her dad’s footsteps creating her own alter-ego, the “Mambacita”.  She was a very talented young lady and was no doubt on her way to do remarkable things on the basketball court. 

Nike partnered with Kobe and the Los Angeles Boys and Girls Club to launch a youth basketball league, called the ‘Mamba League’, to give hundreds of kids free access to the sport.  He created the ‘Mamba Sports Academy’ to provide broader athletic and lifestyle training to competitors at all levels in a number of sports.

Kobe, Gianna and seven other passengers (John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Christina Mauser and the pilot, Ara Zobayan) were en route to a Mamba League game Sunday morning when the helicopter they were flying in crashed due to extremely foggy weather in Los Angeles, killing everyone on board.

The world is mourning the loss of a NBA legend, father, husband and an inspiration to many, as well as his daughter’s young life and the other families who lost their lives in this tragic accident. 

Kobe leaves behind his wife, Vanessa, and three other daughters, Natalia Diamante, Bianka Bella and Capri Kobe.  Our deepest condolences and prayers go out to their loved ones.  

 

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