When I heard that Kobe Bryant died, I did not think it was true. The tragedy got harder when I heard his 13-year-old daughter, GiGi, was with him. Then more details came out and I realized two other 13-year-olds died in the same crash. The loss of 9 individuals on their way to play and coach basketball broke my heart and made me really think about my life. I’m still processing but here are my initial thoughts.
Why Kobe Mattered To Me
I don’t think I was ever a Kobe fanatic, but I know a lot of them. He was, however, one of my favorite players along with Allen Iverson and Diana Taurasi. As a young basketball player, Kobe’s mentality and approach to basketball intrigued me.
Thinking back, I remember constantly surrounding myself with basketball after I started playing in 5th grade. I sucked but I knew by practicing and watching the game I could get better. I remember after school and practice in middle school going home and getting more shots up at home. Then in high school in Italy, I would practice with the girls and then go practice with the guys. After games, I would stay up and watch the game I just played to make adjustments for the next game. I wanted to be the best and Kobe fostered that mentality in me. His determination to be the best in everything he did still inspires me.
The Impact We Make
I’ve stopped playing ball but I don’t think I’ve ever stopped loving the game. I watch basketball and I don’t care about the level. In my bedroom, I still have Spalding and a nerf b-ball. I still lay in my bed shooting the ball up in the air when I need to deeply think about something. Kobe’s death really made me think about how I’m using my love for the game and my impact in general. Kobe’s death impacted the world and while everyone doesn’t impact the world, we each have our sphere of influence that we impact.
Impacting Those Around Me
Kobe’s death really made me think. I was a competitive person and I loved basketball. That’s why I was so willing to put so much time into it. I had to take a real look at my life and determine if I’m just putting time into things I’m not passionate about. I had to look at myself and determine if I’m working hard every single day. Am I being the best Chakeira I can be every single day? Honestly, I haven’t been. I’ve gotten complacent in life and that’s not me. I’ve gotten okay with restating what people tell me I can be instead of taking on the challenge of proving them wrong.
Kobe Bryant was passionate, competitive, supportive, and determined to impact the next generation of ballers. But what makes Kobe’s impact so monumental is that he was living his life being the best Kobe he could be. Every single day. So moving forward, I want to live my life being the best that I can be. Every single day.
Rest in peace to the 9 victims. Gone way too soon.