Keeping the Bryant Memory Alive


Allen Berezovsky

Photo by Allen Berezovsky, Taken in December 2019, Some Rights Reserved

January 26, 2020: it was an early Sunday morning. Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gigi, had taken a helicopter to attend a basketball tournament. Suddenly, the helicopter crashed in Southern California. This tragedy led to the devastating passing of Kobe Bryant, Gigi, and seven other passengers and the impact of this news was immeasurable.


“His death was life-changing for many people and fans. He is a very impactful and influential athlete throughout the world,” Jake Johnson, a varsity basketball player at Lambert, states. “He changed the culture of the game in the early 2000s,” he continues.


It has now been a year without the basketball legend and father. In his twenty seasons playing in the NBA, he won five championships and spent all of this time as a prized player of the Los Angeles Lakers. 


Bryant was a father of four and a devoted family man. Gigi was his second oldest daughter. Following in her father’s footsteps, she played basketball as well and her dream was to play for the WNBA one day.


On Tuesday, fans gathered at a mural in downtown Los Angeles to honor Bryant’s legacy and reflect on his amazing life. 


The death of these nine people was a national heartbreak. Bryant was truly a role model in his lifetime. Since his retirement, he vocally boosted women’s sports and mentored basketball players from many different places. 


“Gianna, better known as Gigi, had a promising youth career and a competitive pugnaciousness that reminded everybody of her dad,” said Greg Beacham in an interview with The Associated Press. “Bryant sat with her courtside at a Brooklyn Nets game late last year, clearly passing along his wisdom to his daughter.” 


Gigi was known to share many traits with her father. Vanessa Bryant, Bryant’s wife and mother of his children, shared a letter written by one of Gigi’s close friends on social media on the one year anniversary of Gigi’s passing. 


For the second half of Bryant’s career, he wore the number 24 on his jersey. Shortly after his death, many teams took 24-second delays in honor of him. His impact is seen by the emotions of the players as they walked on the court.


A year ago, a legend and his daughter was taken away by a tragic turn of events along with seven other amazing people. Today, the memory of these individuals and their lives will be in the hearts of many forever. 

Taken by the LA Times, taken on January 26th, 2021, Some Rights Reserved