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NBA

Why is August 24th Kobe Bryant Day?

On January 26th 2020 the world awoke to the shocking and tragic news that Kobe Bryant, his young daughter Gianna and friends were killed in a helicopter crash.

Update:

On the morning of January 26th 2020 the world awoke to the shocking and tragic news that Kobe Bryant, along with his young daughter Gianna, several other associates and friends were killed in a helicopter crash in the hills above Los Angeles.

A portrait of a decent man

Bryant – a 5 time NBA champion and multiple record holder – was seen by many as the greatest player of his generation. Outpourings of grief were immediate and came from around the world and as they did many began to learn that it wasn’t just an incredible athlete which had been lost, but a good man. From the town of Kobe, Japan which gave him his namesake to his former contemporaries in Rieti, Italy and all across the United States, a picture began to emerge, that of man who was fiercely devoted to not only achieving excellence but helping others do the same as well. Through his extensive philanthropic efforts, Kobe helped many young athletes around the world achieve success both on and off the court.

Kobe Bryant Day: What's known about the helicopter crash?

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Remember the date

During his career Bryant donned both the number 8 and 24 jerseys for the Los Angeles Lakers and it was on this basis that 24th of August was set as a day of remembrance. Yet this was not simply a private choice made by the Los Angeles Lakers, his foundation or even fans, it was in fact made possible and more over official by congressional representative Michelle Steel who authored a resolution to designate the day as ‘Kobe Bryant Day.’ Such was the effect of the player considered the heir to Michael Jordan by many that even the realm of politics was touched.

“Kobe used his platform to inspire millions and help kids around the world achieve success and strive for greatness. On August 24th we should remember Kobe, celebrate his life and encourage the next generation to dream big just like Kobe did,” said Rep. Steel.

Looking forward while thinking back

In a career as brilliantly glamorous as Kobe’s it’s hard to choose a specific moment that stands out. Whether we consider his 5 NBA titles, scoring records, defensive records, MVP awards or his all-star appearances it’s safe to say there is a lot to review. Yet perhaps it’s what Kobe did off the court that gives us the best idea of who the man himself actually was. Not just a legendary athlete but a kind and giving human being.

In his Oscar winning short animated film ‘Dear Basketball’ which was based on his children’s book by the same name, Bryant outlined a love story between him and the sport he first met as a child. He described vividly the journey on which it had taken him and interestingly enough the journey he had to begin once the relationship had ended. It is in that story coupled with his dedicated efforts to provide better opportunities for children worldwide where we truly see the man Kobe Bryant was.

“The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.”

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