Opinion: Saying farewell to Kobe Bryant

By Tamar Mosby, Sports Editor

A bomb dropped on the sports world this Sunday, when the death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna was announced via social media.

After several false reports were released, it was finally confirmed that Bryant and his daughter, along with seven others, were killed in a helicopter crash on the way to a basketball event.

This news for me personally was heartbreaking. Kobe Bryant was not only my favorite basketball player, but an enormous inspiration to myself and many others across the globe.

Advertisement

Large parts of my childhood were spent watching him on TV and trying to perfect his turnaround jump shot. 

He impacted the lives of millions of people with his work ethic, attitude, and love for the game of basketball. 

He was the true embodiment of passion and will-power, teaching each and every single one of his fans to persevere and put their heart and soul into the things they loved.

It wasn’t until I saw his picture everywhere on my social media that I realized Kobe had touched people from so many different walks of life, from models and designers to actors, football players and track runners. 

In just a single day, millions of pictures had been posted filled with messages of love for this iconic man and his family.

You didn’t have to play basketball to love Kobe or admire him because his dedication to his craft and his work ethic could be applied to any part of your life.

I can’t count the number of iconic and upcoming athletes that have named Kobe Bryant as their inspiration. So many players in high school, college and the NBA have modeled their game after his and I hope this will continue.

Bryant was fearless and determined when he stepped onto the court and this inspired me to approach everything in my life the same way.

His daughter, Gianna, planned to continue his legacy and pursue a career in basketball as well. In several interviews, Bryant spoke of his 13-year-old daughter and her dream of playing for the University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team.

It saddens me to know that she’ll never be able to achieve those things because her life has ended before it truly even began.

Besides his contribution on the court, Bryant was a father, son and husband among many other things. He was a philanthropist and an individual who was truly dedicated to bettering the world around him.

While he left an enormous impact on the world, he also left behind a great deal of pain for us to deal with. Much of this pain falls onto his wife and three remaining children. 

What hurts most about this tragedy is thinking of the heartbreak his remaining family members are experiencing after losing two loved ones simultaneously. 

When we think of our favorite athletes or celebrities, we see them as larger than life and surreal. When these same individuals pass away unexpectedly, it seems like a hoax. 

The death of Kobe Bryant is anything but a hoax and it’s saddening to think that generations in the future will be unable to see him actively living out his life with purpose, passion, and drive. 

Although this is true, the life Bryant lived up until now is enough to inspire lifetimes of people.

Even in death, he’s pushing so many individuals to continue his legacy by putting forth an extreme effort into following their dreams and to never surrender these dreams in times of adversity.

Bryant’s death shows us that tragedy does not discriminate and that life is short. 

From Kobe Bryant’s time here on earth, I learned about determination, passion, and hard work, but from his death, I’ve learned to cherish the life I have and the people I care for because it could all be over in an instant.

Even if you aren’t familiar with the name Kobe Bryant, situations like these should push you to lead with love and express continuous gratitude for the small things in life.

Sports editor Tamar Mosby can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @mosbytamar.

To stay up to date with all your Southern Illinois news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

Advertisement