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Bryant leaves lasting legacy on and off the court

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Legendary Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, along with seven others, passed away in a helicopter crash on Sunday.

Among those killed were Bryant and his daughter, as well as head baseball coach of Orange Coast College John Altobelli, his wife Keri, and one of his three daughters, Alyssa. Others who lost their lives include Sarah Chester, her daughter Payton, pilot Ara Zobayan, and Christina Mauser. Bryant is survived by his wife, Vanessa, and his other three daughters, Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.

Bryant became one of the most recognizable faces in the sport of basketball within his 20 years of play, all of which he played for the Los Angeles Lakers. In his career, he amassed a total of 33,643 points, which makes him 4th all-time in scoring. He was also a five time NBA champion, two time NBA Finals MVP, and a one time NBA MVP, according to BasketballReference. Bryant was also selected to the all-star game 18 times, which is the second most in league history, as well as 15 All-NBA selections, which is tied for the most in league history.

Bryant is also known for some of the most memorable performances in NBA history. In 2006, Bryant scored 81 points in a single game, which is the second most in league history only behind Wilt Chamberlain’s 100. In 2016, Bryant scored 60 points in his final NBA game at the age of 37. 

The news of Bryant’s death left many basketball fans in utter disbelief.

“I was just like, there’s no way, there’s no way at all that he just passed away,” senior Sebastian Barron said.

Many will remember Bryant as simply one of the best. His commitment to the game and determination to be the best is one that we may never see again.

The basketball world will always remember him as a prodigy,” principal Ben Tonagel said. “What he did at such a young age and for such a long time may not be repeated. He relished the bright lights and had the competitive edge and drive and was simply GREAT.”

After his retirement, Bryant began to focus more on his family. He coached Gianna as she became a great young player. Bryant embraced the fact that he was a father to only daughters.

“Fans will come up to me like, you gotta have a boy to carry on the tradition,” Bryant said. “We don’t need a boy for that.”

Despite his accomplishments on the court, Kobe will be remembered not only by those who loved basketball, but those who love great competitors, fathers, role-models, and most of all, great people. His legacy will live on in the hearts of many for generations.

Rest in peace, Kobe Bryant.

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