From athletes to students, the ULV community is still reeling from what many describe as the death of one of the greatest athletes of all time after the tragic helicopter crash that took the lives of Kobe and Giana Bryant as well as seven others.
The crash took place in the hills near Calabasas, California, on Jan. 26, where a thick low covering of fog is believed to be the cause of the incident.
Many at the University were influenced by Bryant in their sport, the classroom and life in general as many constantly refer back to his hardworking mentality and incredible determination.
Mike Partida, a graduate student and athletic trainer at ULV, was in shock when he heard the news the day of the crash.
“Kobe was immortal, like a superhero, so when something like that happened, I was like ‘not Kobe’,” said Partida, who dedicated his entire athletic career to Bryant.
Partida plans to run Valley Marathon while wearing Bryant’s logo so that he can remember his idol and carry his mentality during the race.
Bryant dedicated his entire 20-year career to the Los Angeles Lakers, bringing five NBA titles to the City of Angels and one league MVP in the 2008-09 season.
Bryant is also remembered by many as an incredibly loyal servant to the city.
Along with Bryant, Giana one of his four daughters who is more commonly known as “Gigi,” also died in the crash. Like her father she shared the same love and passion for basketball and was primed to go a long way in the sport.
Junior soccer player James Metoyer looked up to Bryant as a role model and was devastated by the news.
“The best way to honor Kobe is to continue his Mamba mentality by doing everything to your full capacity,” Metoyer said.
Like Metoyer, senior golfer Brandon Blum also remembers Bryant’s “Mamba Mentality” and modeled his sporting career around the mindset.
“Anytime things weren’t going good or I was about giving up, I always thought back to that Mamba mentality,” Blum said.
On the basketball court, the women’s team honored the 18-time NBA All-Star and his daughter by taking part in a 24-second moment of silence before their game against Pomona-Pitzer – 24 being one of Bryant’s retired numbers.
With the whole team trying to come to terms with the horrific accident, freshman basketball player Charnpreet Takher says the only way to remember Bryant is as a legend.
Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, announced via Instagram Feb. 7 that for all people who want to remember and pay tribute to Kobe and Gigi, an official public memorial service will take place Feb. 24 at the Staples Center: the house that Kobe Bryant built.
Charles Green can be reached at email@example.com.