Kobe and Gianna; Our Fallen Legends

Camden Barker, Staff Reporter

January 26, 2020 left a despondent feeling in the world of basketball. National Basketball Association (NBA) legend Kobe Bryant passed away in a helicopter crash. He and nine others including his daughter Gianna Bryant were involved in the fatal wreck in Calabasas, California. Just a few of Kobe Bryant’s accomplishments include him being a 5-time NBA champion, 18-time all-star, and 1997 slam dunk champion. His daughter Gianna, played for her father’s AAU team and was a rising star in the league. Gianna’s dream was to play for the University of Connecticut Huskies. The Huskies and the entirety of the NBA held a moment of silence and a tribute to Gianna and Kobe Bryant.

Drexel King, a senior at Immanuel Lutheran Christian Academy (ILCA), is a basketball fanatic. He loves the game of basketball and played for the ILCA varsity team. King doesn’t remember Bryant for just playing basketball, but the legacy he left behind.

“He was more than a basketball player, he was an NBA champion, he was an Oscar winner, he was Kobe,” King said.

Kobe Bryant had his fair share of legal troubles. In 2003, Bryant was accused of sexual assault by a hotel employee. Time passed and court was issued but all charges were dropped. Although many mourn the passing of an iconic figure, we should not forget past affairs. Certain people might suggest leaving out that kind of information due to his family grieving. To King, that is a memory that we should not look over.

“When you look back at a figure in history it is important to look at everything; the good and the bad,” King said.

Christian Thomas, a sophomore at ILCA, looks at Bryant to mimic skills on the court.

“(Kobe) achieved great things on the court and was an amazing basketball player I looked up to,” Thomas said.

Life continues to move on for the fans of the NBA. The news of Gianna, Kobe, and the seven others is a tragedy to all people. Since the accident, Thomas has had a new outlook on life.

“Don’t take life for granted knowing that anything can happen at any time,” Thomas said.

Not everyone who is mourning the death of Gianna and Kobe is a die-hard NBA fan. Others look at this as a disaster and something that should never happen to a family. Brena Brown, a senior at ILCA, has an uneasy feeling when imagining what the Bryant family is going through.

“The fact that he and his daughter both died is sad altogether. Just thinking about his wife and what she is going through is terrible,” Brown said.

Like King, Brown agrees with moving forward but not forgetting the past.

“I don’t think you should just act like it never happened. It is apart of his history. He never let it affect him whether it was true or not,” Brown said.

The entire world mourns the death of the two basketball stars and seven others. Gianna and Kobe are gone, but will never be forgotten. The entirety of the NBA league held small tributes to the two players at the beginning of each game. Both teams would either accept an eight-second backcourt violation or a 24-second shot clock violation to remember both of Kobe Bryant’s jersey numbers. Both Gianna and Kobe will be dearly missed by the basketball world as their deaths took everyone’s breath away.

The seven others included in the helicopter accident were John Altobelli, his wife Keri Altobelli, and their daughter Alyssa Altobelli teammate of Gianna. More include Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton Chester, who was also a teammate of Gianna, and the pilot Ara Zobayan. The world will continue to remember the lives of the victims and move forward to spreading their legacy and the good they have done.