Mamba Forever: mourning the loss of Kobe Bryant

By Zach Barker

After the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant, we look back at the week of pain suffered by many around the world, including Brunel students

The days following Kobe Bryant’s death were filled with tributes. It was a week of mourning not just for basketball fans, but for people from all walks of life as we remember the life of the sporting icon. Emotional tributes poured in worldwide from NBA stars, celebrities, fans, and even people who knew very little about Bryant, many of whom telling stories of how Kobe changed their lives for the better.

Kobe Bryant was a global icon having played in the NBA for 20 years. He established himself as a superstar alongside Shaquille O’Neal when they won three straight championships in the early 2000’s before cementing his legacy with two more ten years later. He shocked the world on the day of his retirement, scoring 60 points in his final game. On top of being a Los Angeles Lakers superstar, he also started the Mamba Academy – an initiative that, according to the website, “educates and provides an opportunity for humans to unlock their full potential.”

His death rocked the entire world. Shaquille O’Neal, Dwayne Wade, LeBron James and many more paid homage to him, explaining how he helped them to become not just better players, but better people. Celebrities such as Tiger Woods, Camilla Cabello, and Demi Lovato posted images of Bryant and his daughter, who also passed.

Brunel students also expressed their pain after his tragic death. Nadine Chui, 20, who studies Theatre and English Literature, said: “Even though I’m not a big basketball fan at all, Kobe Bryant is such a legendary name and [he] reached out to so many people. This was one celebrity death that affected everyone.”

Kobe Bryant perished alongside eight others after a helicopter crash. Among the dead also included Bryant’s daughter, Gianna, and junior college baseball coach John Antobelli.

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