3rd Anniversary Tribute to Kobe Bryant

This past week on January 26 marked three years since Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant (he/him) and his daughter Gianna Bryant (she/her)passed away in a tragic accident. The father-daughter duo were riding a helicopter traveling to her basketball game at Mamba Sports Academy when their helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California.

The six other passengers on the helicopter and the pilot Ara Zobayan (he/him) died in the crash, including former baseball coach John Altobelli (he/him). Altobelli coached All-Star and American League MVP Aaron Judge (he/him) during his time as head coach of the Brewster Whitecaps of the Cape Cod Baseball League. His wife and daughter were also on the helicopter.

Bryant was drafted 13th overall in the 1996 NBA draft by the Charlotte Hornets, before quickly being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant would play for the Lakers in his whole 20-year career. Bryant won 5 NBA Championships in 7 Finals appearances, and won 2 Finals MVP awards.  

Bryant also won the 2008 NBA MVP award, he was also an 18-time NBA All-Star and won All-Star MVP four times.  

Bryant is considered one of the greatest basketball players of all-time for his greatness on the court. He was elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame on the first year of eligibility in April 2020, about two months after his death. He was inducted posthumously in 2021 as the ceremony was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the second year of the anniversary of his death, a statue was erected of Kobe and Gianna at the crash site in Calabasas, California.  

Gianna was Kobe’s second daughter that he had with his wife Vanessa Bryant (she/her), and she was a part of a basketball team that Kobe coached. Gianna was 13 years old at her untimely death and would have been 16 today.

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