A tribute to Kobe Bryant
February 14, 2020 By:MHS Piper
By: Kaylee Weygandt
On Jan. 26, a basketball player who was on the Los Angeles Lakers team, Kobe Bryant, died in a helicopter accident with 9 other people, including his own daughter. This devastated many people.
A teacher at McNary, Mr. Kevin Wise, was able to meet Kobe Bryant in March of 2002. He had just so happened to stay at the same hotel as the Lakers and was able to get an autograph from Mr. Bryant.
“Kobe came down and after I turned around and, you know, I asked him for an autograph and he just sort of talked to me like he’d known me forever like, ‘hey how you doing?’, you know ‘why are you here?’ and you know ‘how long have you been a fan?’. I mean he was just really down to earth and… but I mean when you see somebody that is that good and is just coming off winning a title, you know, it was kind of a little bit nervous, but he made me feel, you know, like just kind of one of the guys.” said Mr. Wise.
Originally, Mr. Wise viewed Bryant as someone arrogant but after he met him, his view changed. He saw him as a humble and caring man.
Mr Wise said, “I was honestly, I was just kind of shocked initially and I was thinking this has to be some sort of this sick joke and then you know, I think it just sunk in and I still think it’s still kind of shocking. You see a guy like that and think that guys invincible then you realize that, you know, that’s not the way it is.”
When Bryant died, many people thought the death was a hoax and not real. A lot of people struggled to believe it was real.
A student and basketball player who attends McNary, Kylar Rodriguez, said, “You know anyone who knew the word basketball instantly associated it with Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, those main guys. You know just something as tragic as that, you just don’t expect it from someone like him because you think as soon as someone is that famous, you think that they might be immortal and you just learn that you live your life to the fullest every second of it.”
To many basketball players, he was a role model. Mr. Bryant was a player most young or high school basketball players looked up to and aspired to be.
A sophomore at McNary, Gunner Smedema said, “I think it’s really sad. He was a really good person and basketball player. At our game, a lot of people wore his jersey and Lakers colors. So you know, it’s sad to see he had to go and I am very sorry for the family.”
Mr. Ryan Kirch said, “I graduated from high school the same year as Kobe. I was shocked and still find it hard to believe. It’s incredibly sad.”
People, especially those who are close in age with Mr. Bryant found it shocking and almost scary how quickly someone can leave the world. His death gave others another view of life and to live it to the fullest.
During a game on Jan. 30, McNary and Sprague’s student section dressed in the Lakers colors and wore Mr. Bryant’s number in honor of him and the people who died in the crash.