Remembering a Legend...
Our program may only be a baseball program, but greatness transcends sports. The world lost a sports legend on Sunday 1/26/2020. Los Angeles Lakers superstar, two-time Olympic gold medalist and five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant died tragically last Sunday when the helicopter he, his daughter Gianna and seven others were traveling in crashed in Calabasas, California on the way to his daughter's basketball tournament at Mamba Sports Academy.
Kobe Bryant as a basketball player was known for his hard work, determination, and commitment to excellence. Kobe's mindset and approach to his craft evolved into what is now known as "Mamba Mentality" after his nickname, Black Mamba. Mamba Sports Academy was born from Kobe's desire to give back to future generations in sports. Those that knew him referred to him as more than an athlete. He was a family man, philanthropist, and pillar of his community. There was simply more to Kobe Bryant than basketball.
"Kobe was so much more than an athlete, he was a family man. That was what we had most in common... We love our families. Whenever we got together I would hug his children like they were my own and he would embrace my kids like they were his." -Shaquille O'Neal
"For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning. He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary ... But he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability." -Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner
Kobe's Mamba Mentality can be simplified into three things: Work hard, do your job and be committed to excellence. Another way to put it is when you want to quit, don't. Keep going, keep going, keep going. Kobe was more than a basketball player to many around the world. He was an inspiration and a motivator. People wanted to be like Kobe. People around the world of sports learned a work ethic from Kobe; they learned Mamba mentality.
"Everything negative - pressure, challenges - is all an opportunity for me to rise." -Kobe Bryant
Kobe's impact on the world of sports will last a lifetime. He will be remember in many ways, but we can all learn from his legacy. His legacy was one of winning. There was no such thing as quit for Kobe. Give up wasn't in his vocabulary.
"Winning takes precedence over all. There’s no gray area. No almosts." -Kobe Bryant
There was no harping on the past. There was only getting better. The principle of failing forward was something that Kobe knew all too well. His will to win was unmatched and he only focused on what mattered to help him get better.
"I’m reflective only in the sense that I learn to move forward. I reflect with a purpose." -Kobe Bryant
Mamba Mentality is the legacy. Kobe Bryant is the legend. The entire world of sports is grieving. As we try to wrap our minds around losing an icon like Kobe, we reflect on all that he did for not just basketball, but all of sports. As you go into your next season of sports, remember Black Mamba and channel Mamba Mentality to elevate your game and help Kobe's legacy live on.
Lakers Tribute 1st home game since passing:
Kobe in his own words:
RIP to all 9 people in the helicopter crash:
Kobe Bryant, 41
Gianna Bryant, 13
John Altobelli, 56
Keri Altobelli, 46
Christina Mauser, 38
Sarah Chester, 45
Payton Chester, 13
Ara Zobayan, 50