Op-Ed: How Kobe Bryant's Death Affected Me

By: Avi Kahn (12th Grade)

I’m not a huge sports fan; I don’t play basketball. And although I love to visit LA, I didn’t grow up there. Yet this past Sunday, as I was scrolling through my phone and discovered the terrible news about Kobe Bryant, I couldn’t help but feel an intense sadness. Despite my lack of interest in basketball, having two basketball fanatic brothers I knew who Kobe was.

Kobe is such a mainstay of pop culture, everyone talks about him, and for something like this to suddenly happen is shocking. Growing up it was a trend to yell ‘Kobe’ and mimic his shot as you threw something in the trash. Kobe left an impression on my basketball fanatic brothers, as well as many others, causing social media to blow up with the news of his death.

As I learned more and discovered that his daughter and seven other people were also in the crash, I felt even worse. For some reason I felt a connection to this five time NBA champion despite the fact that I’ve never even watched one of his games.

After speaking to friends I realized that others felt the same way, and I wondered: why do we care so much?

Kobe left such a mark because he was more than just a basketball player; he was a dad, friend, and philanthropist. His drive, skill, and success impacted everyone in some way, which is why his death is truly tragic.

For the past week since the accident, social media has been flooded with images of the victims of the tragic helicopter crash. The one victim who really stood out to me was Bryant’s 13 -year-old daughter, Gianna. Reading about all of her dreams and aspirations, including the fact that she wanted to play in the WNBA, really impacted my emotion towards the crash. Her death speaks volumes to me, as well as my peers, because she was only a few years younger. Thinking of all the things I have done that she won’t ever get to do, little things like applying to college and even playing on a high school sports team.

The impact Kobe and Gianna Bryant made on the world is one that will not be forgotten, and although I was not extremely connected to Kobe’s story prior to his death, I still can relate the worldwide legacy that he left behind.

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