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Opinion: Kobe Bryant’s Lasting Legacy

by Joseph Fracek

On Sunday, Jan. 26, a helicopter carrying NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others, including a college baseball coach and two more kids, crashed. Everyone on board was killed.

In the weeks following accident, the sports world and beyond are still grieving. Kobe Bryant was not just a basketball icon; he won an Academy Award, he spoke three languages, he excelled at soccer, he was a philanthropist, a husband, and of course he was a “girl dad.”

Students and athletes at Pitt-Greensburg are grieving as well. “It was unreal finding out that Kobe passed away, he was like a super-hero,” said men’s basketball standout, Jojo France, about the loss.  

What made Kobe differ from other basketball greats was his overwhelming work ethic, and his drive to be great. We all have memories of clutch performances from our favorite players, but my favorite Kobe memory is not one of his performances; it was his mentality: the Mamba Mentality. Kobe had a switch come game time. He compared it to an actor playing a part: “When I am that character, don’t touch me, don’t talk to me. Leave me alone.” Kobe was all business. 

  Kobe made it a point that he was not a gifted athlete; he simply worked hard to become great. Kobe did not have the best vertical. He did not have the biggest hands or the quickest feet. Kobe had determination, though.  

If there is one thing that everyone can learn from Kobe, it is that hard work truly pays off. To honor Kobe Bryant, in whatever it is that you are doing, whether it is sports, an assignment for class, or a job, give it your 110%. Work harder than everyone else. Want a better result than everyone else. Just simply be the best you can be, for Kobe.

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