Kobe Bryant

On January 26th a basketball legend was lost in a tragic helicopter accident. Kobe Bryant died at only 41 years old, but not before he could positively affect Rosary individuals and the Rosary community. 

Nicole and Kobe Photo provided by Nicole Rodriquez ’20

Kobe’s work with women’s basketball brought recognition to the sport Kate Goostrey ‘20 says, “His impact on that industry [women’s basketball] inspires me.” Kobe has helped people to understand that women’s basketball is just as important as men’s. Fighting for women to play in the NBA, saying that they are just as skilled as the men. 

He worked a lot with his daughter, Gianna, and her basketball team. He technically wasn’t the coach but that didn’t stop him from helping the girls with technique, he went to many of Gianna’s practices where Nicole Rodriquez ‘20 met him. Nicole’s first interaction with Kobe was when he helped her with her technique after missing a shot. She took the same shot again, and states, “The look on his face will be imprinted on my mind forever.”

Nicole also had a chance to work at Kobe’s basketball program, Mamba Sports Academy, alongside Asia Avinger ‘20. At Mamba, Nicole coached in the summer program. During a drill, Nicole interacted with Kobe again. She shares, “He came up to me and gave me a hug congratulating me on committing to Loyola Marymount.”

Mamba Summer Staff Photo provided by Nicole Rodriquiez ’20

The news of his death was a shock to many Royals, but especially to Nicole: she shares, “I didn’t believe it, I didn’t want to believe it…finally towards the end of the day it hit me.” 

Mia Orvetz ‘21 has many friends, through her rowing team, who not only knew Kobe, but his daughter and the other people in the crash. She says, “It’s been extremely hard for me to watch my friends mourn their classmates, teachers, coaches and friends.”  

Kobe Bryant had a giant impact on the Rosary community and it’s individuals. His life will be remembered and celebrated by the basketball community, fans and players alike.