Jackson Gerber, Sports Editor
NBA legend and well-known celebrity icon Kobe Bryant was one of nine people that died in a northern Los Angeles helicopter crash this past Sunday that left no survivors.
Bryant’s death sent a shockwave around the world, affecting not only the basketball community but many other professional sporting communities and fans as well. Dominick Ingram, a sophomore guard on the Auggie men’s basketball team, reflected on what Bryant meant to him and his basketball career. “He was the first player I idolized and the reason I first fell in love with the game.” Ingram’s sentiments towards Kobe were not uncommon. In the ensuing days following Bryant’s death, many people took to various social media outlets to express their thoughts on what Kobe meant to them and their lives.
Many former teammates of Bryant’s have been interviewed about his impact as a teammate as well, including former Augsburg alumnus Devean George. George was part of three NBA championship teams with Kobe and the Los Angeles Lakers in the early 2000’s. In a phone interview with 5 Eyewitness News out of Minneapolis, George stated that “It’s tough to lose a good guy… Especially one that has done so much for you, and good to you, and your family.”
Bryant’s work ethic was second to none; as Ingram pointed out, “no matter what sport you played you could always learn things from him.” Not only will he be remembered for his tenacity on the court, but for the profound impact he had off the court for the game of basketball as well. Almost everyone has a memory of trying to shoot a piece of paper into a trash can and yelling out “KOBE!!” as they attempted to be like one of the greats. If not, you probably witnessed someone doing it. His mamba mentality of putting in the work so that you are prepared for anything that is thrown at you, can and should be applied to anything you do in life. RIP MAMBA