Legendary Basketball player Kobe Bryant is remembered by the Becton Community


Celeste Lecaroz

“Mambo Forever” Original Artwork. Follow the artist on instagram @Celeste_Lecaroz or www.Facebook.com/ces.aceron

Jenny Marcinkowski, Lead Editor: District Initiatives & Community Affairs

Kobe Bryant passed away in a helicopter crash at the age of 41 on January 26, 2020, in Calabasas, California. Seven others, including his 13-year old daughter, Gianna, were in a helicopter on their way to Mamba Academy. Bryant often trained Gianna and other players from her travel team at the location. Tragically, there were no survivors. Those lost include 3 teenagers, Gianna Bryant, Alyssa Altobelli, and Payton Chester. Additionally, the teen’s parents, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, and Sarah Chester, as well as Gianna’s school coach, Christina Mauser, and the pilot, Ara Zobayan were all tragically killed in the accident.
Many students in Becton, especially athletes, looked up to Bryant as an icon, first being introduced to him when he played for the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant retired in 2016 from the Lakers, but his ‘mamba’ mentality was still prominent with him and he continued to use it to inspire others. Bryant was also a major supporter of youth sports, as he opened Mamba Sports Academy, a training facility for children and teenagers in 2018 along with Sports Academy CEO, Chad Faulkner.
Senior Hamza Ahmed said, “I feel really sad, we lost a legend and a great person”. Bryant was truly a legend, during his high school career, he brought his team to four state championships and entered the NBA draft soon after. He was then selected as the overall 13th pick by the Charlotte Hornets, only to then be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers without ever playing a day as a Hornet. At the age of 19, he was the youngest player to be in the NBA All-Star basketball game. His legacy solidified during his time with the Lakers; he led them to five championships. “He inspired me to play ball… I’m heartbroken and mourning for him and his daughter,” said Sophomore Christian Agoncillo.

Lebron James Instagram post about the death of Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant was a leader both on and off the court; he was often praised for his philanthropy and active involvement in the youth community. Some of the charities he supported included, After-School All-Stars, Aid Still Required, Cathy’s Kids Foundation, Make-A-Wish, Stand Up To Cancer, and the Vijay Amritraj Foundation. Bryant also founded his own foundation with his wife, known as the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation, which focuses on providing children with transformative experiences that aim to expand their outlook on the world.
Bryant’s athleticism inspired much of today’s basketball stars including Trae Young, Jayson Tatum, Ja Morant, and Lebron James, who all mourned his death on social media. James promised to “continue [Bryant’s] legacy”.

Even those who do not follow basketball knew the impact he had on not only the sport but the world. Sophomore Isabella Presson said, “I didn’t follow him as an idol, but his death shows how life can be easily taken for granted.”
Bryant was survived by his wife, Vanessa Bryant and three of their children. The family has started The MambaOnThree Fund, which according to the website, “exists to honor and support loved ones of the seven other victims involved in the tragedy that occurred on January 26, 2020. All donations to the Fund will be directed to their families”.


Additional reporting by Jessica Szewczyk & Anthony Berrios

“Mambo Forever” Original Artwork by Celeste Lecaroz.

Follow the artist on Instagram @Celeste_Lecaroz or www.Facebook.com/ces.aceron