The husband, father and iconic athlete, Kobe Bryant, was killed in a helicopter crash on January 26. His thirteen year old daughter, Gianna, was also among the souls that lost their lives. In the hours and the days following, many people have shared their stories, remembering the icon as a family man.
Derek Jeter wrote a tribute on The Players’ Tribune where he describes Bryant to be a family man above all else. “He cared much more about being a husband to Vanessa and a dad to his girls. He loved his family — he was his family.“
The dedication to family didn’t stop at his own. “The Black Mamba” worked tirelessly to develop his craft and become a tremendous figure in basketball. Although he retired from the NBA in 2016, his philanthropic efforts in sports were far from finished. Bryant supported young players through the Mamba Sports Academy and the Mamba FC.
The Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Foundation was created with the mission of improving the lives of young people and their families. The foundation provides scholarships to and operates the Mamba FC. Bryant was also an active member of the Make A Wish Foundation. Over the course of 20 years he has granted more than 250 wishes to children battling life threatening ailments.
He aspired to connect with youth in other creatives ways too. In September 2019, he released a book “Legacy and the Queen” a fantasy novel about a young tennis player who tried to win a tournament to save her fathers orphanage. His goal was to create content that could teach his daughters and other children how to navigate through society by using sports.
Bryant’s unwavering support of families comes as no surprise to those who knew, worked with and met him in passing. A particular story told by ESPN reporter Elle Duncan, has moved thousands of people all over social media. He expressed his love for his daughters and boasted about being a girl dad.
The iconic athlete left behind a legacy of hard work, charity and love. As a man that dedicated his life to making his family and the lives of others better, it can only serve as a positive example to others. His life will continue to inspire people to work hard, help others and love those closest to you fiercely.