Remembering Kobe Bryant: 8/24 - Kobe Bryant Day
After his tragic and unexpected death in 2020, Kobe Bryant Day was officially introduced and honors the numbers he wore during his tenure with the Lakers.
Kobe Bryant is known as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He spent his entire 20-year tenure in Los Angeles with the Lakers. He accomplished quite a lot during that time.
• Five-time NBA Champions
• Two-time leader in NBA in scoring
• 18-time All-Star
• 15-time member of the All-NBA Team
• 12-time member of the All-Defensive Team
• NBA MVP 2008
• two-time NBA Finals MVP
• fourth in league all-time regular season and postseason scoring.
Bryant really became the face of the Lakers when Shaquille O’Neal was traded in 2004. In addition to leading the NBA in scoring (he scored a career high of 81 points, the second-most points scored in a single game in NBA history in 2006), he led the Lakers to back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010. In 2012, he suffered a torn achilles and into the next two seasons, he endured knee and shoulder injuries, eventually leading him to retire in 2016.
More than just a great athlete
Kobe is of course remembered for his talent, but what’s more is that after his untimely death, much was learned about the man behind the basketball player. In addition to his athletic accomplishments, Bryant did a lot to help young athletes succeed.
• He was the official ambassador for an American non-profit called After-School All-Stars (ASAS) which provided after-school programs to children in thirteen different US cities
• He started the Kobe Bryant China Fund, a charity backed by the Chinese government which raises money towards health and educational programs within China.
• He, along with Zach Braff, launched an event in which they gave $1 million to a charity called Call of Duty Endowment, which helps military veterans transition into civilian careers.
• He and his wife Vanessa founded the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation (KVBFF) which aims to help homeless people and young people in need by using sports as a way to help develop physical and social skills.
• He and Vanessa were founding donors of the National Museum of African American History and Culture
• He granted over 200 requests for the Make-A-Wish Foundation
Kobe Bryant’s death and honoring his memory
Kobe Bryant passed away on January 26th, 2020 in a tragic helicopter crash, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, six friends and the pilot Ara Zobayan. Because of everything he did to help people in need, Kobe Bryant Day became official earlier this year and we celebrate it today, August 24. The two numbers, 8 and 24, were the numbers that he wore during his time with the Lakers. Thus 8/24 was the day chosen to remember him. Representative Michelle Steel, who wrote the resolution to officially designate the day, said that it is meant to celebrate Kobe’s life and “encourage the next generation to dream big just like Kobe did.”