Nutshell: How Did Kobe Bryant Impact You?

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With the passing of NBA legend Kobe Bryant at age 41, Bethel University students and professors expressed their gratitude and grief for the man known as “The Black Mamba.” 

“I am lifetime LA Lakers fan and all of my favorite players have been Lakers including Kobe.  His mamba mentality is something that I believe I will take with me. Hard work and dedication to my craft.” – Theodore Williams, Professor of Communications 

“Kobe impacted me as a player by his drive and determination to be the best he can be his entire career, but I was even more impacted by how he gave back to the game in helping mentor younger players and having an outward focus towards the end of his career. Also, he was intentional about being a great husband and father. This was awesome to see as I have a wife, 3 young children, and 1 on the way.” – Steve Drabyn, Men’s Basketball head coach 

“Kobe was a legend to me. From the first time I stepped out on the court, he was one of the few NBA players I knew of. I was never a Lakers fan, but I was an enormous Kobe fan, especially how he tried so hard to promote girls’ basketball. The relationship Kobe and Gigi had reminds me of the relationship I have with my own father. Thinking about this all brings me to tears and hurts so badly, but he was a beast on and off the floor and left an immaculate legacy, one we can all smile and remember with awe.” – Sydney Williams, Sophomore English Education major and Women’s Basketball player 

“Kobe Bryant was a childhood hero to me. I grew up a Lakers fan and he was a huge inspiration to me because of the effort he put into everything he did on and off the court. No matter what he did, Kobe put his all into it. It deeply saddened me to hear of his passing, but through his death we were able to see just how many lives he touched. The world will miss Kobe Bryant.”  

– Devin Rogers, Junior English education major 

“To be honest, I'm not totally sure how to answer. I've been a basketball fan for years now, and so I've obviously known of Kobe since I first started following the NBA. I was never a Lakers fan, nor was I particularly a fan of his on the court. I admired his tenacity and his grit. "Mamba Mentality" is a phrase I'm quite familiar with, and I've shouted "KOBE" on a fair number of waste basket buckets. So really, when he was alive and just doing his thing, I'm not sure Kobe did affect my life. That said, his death made me feel a lot of emotions I couldn't really explain. I was left trying to process the death of a man I didn't know personally or even have that strong of a connection to. There was just something about someone so seemingly untouchable, so strong, so elevated, dying in such a chaotic, random, non-sensical way that hurt. It was a harsh reminder that life doesn't really care about your achievements or your accolades. It reminds me of the lyric from ‘Wait for It’ from Hamilton: ‘Death doesn't discriminate; it takes, and it takes, and it takes, but we keep living anyway.’ So, I don't really think I can point to any one thing and say, "Kobe impacted me in this way." All I know is the world is a little darker place without him.” – Bryce Yoder, Junior Liberal Studies major 

“I would say Kobe is the reason I started playing basketball. His work ethic on-and-off the court influenced me in so many ways. His mamba mentality is something that will live with me for the rest of my life.” – Keenen Boyce, Senior Communications and Business major 

And finally, from Brother Tim Erdel: "It may be sacrilegious to say it, but Kobe took my number."

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