Fans Across the Country Mourn the Death of Kobe Bryant


Staff Photographer

Daily News, Mindy Schauer

Anna Chung

This past Sunday, the country collectively fell into a period of shock and mourning as news rapidly spread that the nationally celebrated former NBA player Kobe Bryant and his 13-year old daughter Gianna, “Gigi”, Bryant were among nine dead in a helicopter crash in California.


Bryant was on his way to a basketball academy where he coached his daughter and her team. The academy was hosting a tournament where boys and girls teams competed for the Mamba Cup. However, the helicopter crashed just outside of Calabasas, California, before the father daughter duo could make it there. After the news broke, the tournament was cancelled and those involved joined the rest of the country in mourning.


The death of Bryant was one that took the whole country by storm. As a five-time NBA champion, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, and a father to three daughters, his legacy will continue to live on. His impact on the basketball community was undeniable, as fans all over the country gathered to honor him. From the Staples Center to the crash site to the Lakers’ practice facility, fans everywhere donned in Lakers jerseys came together with flowers and signs. 


Beyond LA, people all over the country expressed their condolences, as fans and friends alike took to social media to commemorate him. “There [are] no words to express the pain I’m going through with this tragedy of [losing] my [niece] Gigi & my brother Kobe Bryant,” former teammate Shaquille O’Neal wrote on Twitter. “I love [you] and [you] will be missed.”


His impact can be seen even in the halls of Briar Woods. For junior Sunny Chanda, Bryant was his role model and the reason he became involved in sports at a young age. “The connection that basketball brings to people is something so special that only Kobe could’ve passed on to kids like me,” Chanda says. “Kobe motivated all of us to be our best selves because every moment is special.”


Kobe Bryant will be remembered on the court as an inspiration to those young and old. Even in death he was able to bring together communities far and wide, further underscoring the impact he had on the country as a whole.