Black History Month Highlight: Kobe Bryant


Eresay Alcantar-Velasquez

Dribble, shoot, swish, repeat. Dribble, shoot, swish, repeat. The time is 4:07 a.m. The Staples stadium is dark but not silent. The sound of basketball sneakers rubbing against the gym floor and a basketball bouncing then slipping through the netting is continuously occurring. Who could be up this early playing basketball? Kobe Bryant. Bryant was known for being a relentless hard-working player. His former teammates and coaches would mention Bryant always being the first one to arrive and last one to leave the court. “Everybody just woke up…We’re all yawning and he’s already three hours and a full workout into his day,” Dwyane Wade, a former NBA player in an ESPN interview, said (

Without a doubt, Bryant put everything he had into the game he loved. This may have served as a reason why so many people looked up to him. Throughout his entire career, Bryant was able to win 5 NBA Championships, receive the 2008 MVP Award for the Los Angeles Lakers, Place 3rd on the NBA all-time scoring list in December 2014, and play on both 2008 and 2012 U.S. Olympic teams (to name a few of his accomplishments). For the 2013-2014 season Bryant worked and trained hard in order to return to the court for the season. Simply, Bryant had the drive and desire that made him so great, an attitude and trait that is rarely seen.

After his last season, Kobe wrote the poem “Dear Basketball.” This poem, in an essence, captured what basketball meant to Kobe. He wrote, “my heart can take the pounding. My mind can handle the grind, but my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.” The impact Bryant had on basketball will forever be known. Bryant inspired many  young players who have hopes of entering the NBA and follow in his footsteps. He also taught people they must work hard for their dreams.

Bryant was a legend and his memory will live on forever. “There’s no possible way anyone can describe what Kobe meant to them fully. He displayed work ethic, courage, he made the impossible possible in people’s eyes. And not just in basketball, every sport,” Tahlik Chavez, a freshman player on the Garden City Community College Men’s Basketball team, said. Today, Bryant’s memory lives on through those who strive to compete and pursue the sport that they love, continue to work hard, and apply the mamba mentality in all assets of their life.