Students mourn Kobe

On Sunday, January 26, Kobe Bryant and eight other people, including his daughter Gianna, died in a plane crash in Calabasas, California. They were on Kobe’s private helicopter going to a youth basketball event at his Mamba Academy when the helicopter crashed into the side of a mountain after descending from the sky. There were no survivors. 

Kobe Bryant was a 41 year-old basketball sensation who won numerous awards and is recognized as one of the greatest of all time. He continually influenced the basketball community and sports world as a whole. Many people around the world felt impacted by his death, even though they had no personal connection to him or his family. Students shared their thoughts on this devastating tragedy.

Nick Owens (11) explained how he felt when he heard the news of Kobe’s passing. “I was very shocked and very upset because as a role model I looked up to him because his work ethic was incredible and everything with families passing is just a reality check that life is short. He was definitely one of my favorite players, and I truly respect what he did for the game of basketball.” Sydney Lester (9) also added her thoughts, “I was really sad and I didn’t think that it was real. It was really devastating when I also found out that his daughter and more people died too.” Amilyon Dixon (12) said, “I grew up watching Kobe. He was the only player that kept the original game alive. So when he died, the next generation will never know how the game used to be and will not have Kobe’s living influence and legacy over them.”

Kobe also inspired and influenced students and people all over the world. Students explained how he personally had an effect on their own lives. Christian Yates (11) said, “His mentality just to work as hard as possible and out work everyone else was so motivating and influenced me to do the same.” Elle Gunter (10) also said, “When he was first drafted, everyone told him he would never make it, but he proved them wrong and made it happen. That just shows me that anything is possible, even with doubters.” Brayden Surface (10) described, “He taught me to strive for my goals and that to succeed in something I have to put in a lot of work. His mentality is something I try to live out everyday.”

Not only did Kobe’s death affect people in the basketball community, but his impact reached other sports and even internationally. The whole world is mourning and grieving the lost through tributes and murals to honor him and the others killed in the crash. Students described their own view on how they’ve seen Kobe’s impact on the world through his death. Rebecca Smith (11) said, “

The entire community and world has rallied around Kobe and showed that his memory and legacy will never fade.”

— Rebecca Smith (11)

” Marqus Ray (12) explained, “His death opened everybody’s eyes to show how real life really is and that it could happen to anybody.” Nick Owens (11) also added his thoughts, “Everyone in the basketball world came together as one to remember how great he was and how many people he inspired. People who weren’t even basketball fans cried because of his death. It’s just absolutely insane how big of an impact he had on the community.” 

Since the accident, a preliminary report was released by the National Transportation Safety Board, but there was still no indication of what caused the crash. A full report could take up to 18 months, according to the NTSB. As more information is released, the sad truth of Kobe’s and eight others tragic deaths will continue to impact the world and the students at Graham High.