Nicknamed as “Black Mamba” for his amazing playing skills and precision, Kobe Bryant was one of the best ever basketball players in the history of the game. The Los Angeles Lakers player had a very iconic life, starting his career as a professional basketball player right after high school. Despite of the criticisms and barriers, Bryant became a huge name in the world of basketball and sports. However, with the country pouring their heartfelt condolences to his family over his untimely and accidental death in a helicopter crash, let’s take a peek into some of the best memories and facts about this amazing legend.
SON OF JOE BRYANT
Kobe Bryant may have been one of the most famous and most celebrated basketball players in the NBA, but he gets his playing skills from his dad, Joe Bryant also known as Jellybean Bryant who was himself a professional basketball player before retiring and taking up the job of being the head coach of WNBA team Los Angeles Sparks. Guess the basketball genes ran deep in the family.
HE WAS NAMED AFTER A JAPANESE MEAT
Bryant’s parents named him Kobe after a very famous Japanese beef KOBE, which is known for its soft marbled texture and tenderness. This only makes Bryant more global, especially looking at his connections with Japan (for his name), Italy (education), China (charity) and America (his birth country).
FINISHED MOST OF HIS EDUCATION IN ITALY
After Joe Bryant retired from his basketball career, he shifted based to Italy with his entire family. Kobe learnt Italian fluently in order to mix up with the students in his school and to interact with his teammates while playing a game and practicing basketball in his school back in Italy.
TOOK R&D SINGER BRANDY NORWOOD TO HIGH SCHOOL PROM
Bryant returned to USA in 1991 from Italy and started studying in the Merion High School, in his hometown. He was already a celebrity when he entered high school, especially for his basketball skills. Moreover, he took R&D singer Brandy Norwood as his prom to his high school prom night, leaving all his classmates in utter shock and awe.
BRYANT WAS THE FIRST EVER NBA GUARD WHO WAS DRAFTED RIGHT FROM HIGH SCHOOL
While still studying at Merion High School, Bryant showed all his gaming skills on the court by helping his team win the basketball championship four consecutive times. This earned him great fame and media attention even before he entered NBA. Undoubtedly, the Charlotte Hornets drafted Bryant in the NBA, only to further trading him to Lakers against Vlade Divac.
HE MARRIED VANESSA LAINE MARRIED AGAINST THE CHOICE OF HIS PARENTS
Kobe Bryant met his wife Vanessa Laine during the recording of one of his rap songs. The couple felt the sparks flying between them and soon started dating each other. After 2 years of dating, Kobe proposed Vanessa and the couple got married in 2001 against the decision of his parents. The marriage was not attended by Bryant’s parents and sisters. Joe Bryant didn’t support the decision of Kobe getting married at the young age of 23. However, who can stop love right?
KOBE WAS THE AMBASSADOR OF VARIOUS CHARITIES
With his successful career as an NBA player, Kobe earned a huge amount of money playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. The celebrity player however, always made sure that he spent some of his earnings for charities across the world. He has a charity in China supported by its government named Kobe Bryant china Fund. The charity helps fund health and education programs the underprivileged children in China. He is also the ambassador of After School all Stars, a charity that provides children with after school services across 13 states in America. Kobe was also the 2019 FIBA Basketball World cup ambassador.