For Black History Month, we celebrate Kobe Bryant, taken from us too soon

Ryan Maguire, Staff Reporter

Last Sunday, January 26, 2020, the world received the tragic and saddening news that NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, among others, had died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. 

The Sikorsky helicopter was flown by pilot Ara Zobayan and was advised not to fly on that day due to heavy fog, but continued en route to the Mamba Sports Academy. The helicopter took off at approximately 9:06 a.m and crashed at 9:45 a.m.  

The crash claimed the lives of: Kobe Bryant, 41; Gianna Bryant, 13; Payton Chester, 13; Sarah Chester, 45; Alyssa Altobelli, 14; John Altobelli, 56; Keri Altobelli, 46; Christina Mauser, 38; and pilot Ara Zobayan, 50.  

Kobe Bryant was many things: an idol, a legend, a competitor, and, most importantly, a great father. Bryant left behind his wife Vanessa, and his three other daughters: Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. 

The death of Kobe Bryant will not be forgotten, but instead remembered through his NBA accomplishments, his impact on others, and his “Mamba Mentality” which will be carried on by those who idolized the great Kobe Bryant.  

The “Mamba Mentality,” a motto created by Kobe Bryant was a motto that many current athletes, students, and aspiring athletes live by. In short, Kobe Bryant believed that people should always attempt to be the best version of themselves. Kobe was a firm believer in encouraging people to always work hard in whatever they do. 

“The Mamba Mentality has definitely made an impact on me. In both school and sports I always try to better myself by either studying for school, or practicing for baseball,” said Naugatuck High School senior Joel Alexander. 

Kobe Bryant’s 20 year career was nothing short of amazing. Through these twenty years, Kobe was a 5x NBA champion, 2x NBA Finals MVP, league MVP, and 18x All-Star, among other great career accolades. 

Not only was Kobe Bryant impressive on the court, he was actively involved in his daughters’ sporting teams, clubs, and, even, founded the Mamba Sports Academy. The Mamba Sports Academy is aimed at aiding young children in developing sports skills and staying in shape. 

In fact, Bryant coached his daughter, Gianna, who played for the Mamba Academy in girls basketball. 

“He was a great basketball player and he won so many things for the Lakers. He also impacted so many different individuals around the world,” said Shravani Daptardar, a sophomore at Naugatuck High School. 

The legacy of Kobe Bryant will not be forgotten, but instead it will be remembered and honored by millions of people around the world forever.