“Growing up he was almost like a father figure to me. I really modeled my mentality around Kobe. He was my inspiration. In a way, he’s the closest person that’s passed away from me. Kobe was our childhood. Because of him, I’ve had a lot of opportunities and met many new people. Sometimes his passing doesn’t feel real.”
“I’ve cried more in the past three days than I have in the past five years. I got the news when I was driving back from Vegas, and I was a mess the whole seven hours of driving. It doesn’t feel like it’s gotten better, but it’s brought a lot of people together. The outreach of love is probably the biggest part that I’ve seen from this, and it’s allowed me to feel better about it all. Yet, it’s something that hardly goes away, especially when he’s your hero.”
“It’s been rough. My family’s always been big Laker fans. We bleed purple and gold. We’ve always been big Kobe fans, and it’s been extra hard on my grandmother. It’s hard, especially hearing about his daughter dying with him, that’s even tougher on me and my family. It makes me want to be closer to family and appreciated every moment, and just be more aware of what’s going on in this world.”
“Being a sports fan, it’s pretty harsh. I grew up watching him on TV and seeing one of your idols pass away hurts. It also hurts seeing all the other athletes mourning over his death.”
Steven Saavedra (fourth-year, Business Management major)- “It’s too surreal. Things are a little odd. The weather’s off, energy’s off, vibes are off. It’s just very unexpected, very surreal.”
“When I heard about Kobe’s death, I thought it was just a hoax. I’m still in denial about it. Every time I see someone that has been affected by Kobe in some type of way, it brings a tear to my eye. Kobe was a man larger than life, and he was dedicated to helping the world around him. He was practically untouchable, and the recent news has brought a sort of reality check. It could happen to anyone. You just have to live your life in the present and focus on everything you’re doing right now. It makes me realize that I should be more aware of the people I love and let them know that I’m always there.”
“I think it affected me by making me appreciate waking up every day more. It also reminded me to be more loving towards the people around me. I was also reminded not to take life for granted, to not hold grudges because it’s not worth it, and to be more family-oriented. We go on normally, but we don’t stop and think about how we wake up and make it to our destinations safely, and that’s such a huge blessing we take for granted.”
“Ever since I was a little kid, Kobe Bryant played an influential and inspiring piece in my life. He inspired me to create the love and passion for basketball. I remember playing basketball with all my friends and every time you shot the basketball in the court, you were always yelling out ‘KOBE!’, and having that idol that you could look up to really pushed me to have that ‘Mamba Mentality’ in my life.”
“Growing up, my family’s always been huge Lakers fans. We’d sit around the TV and watch Kobe dominate and win championship after championship. It also brought my family closer together and have something to connect over. With Kobe being a huge part of my childhood, hearing the news about his death really caught me off guard and left me feeling sad and empty. He was like a superhero, so seeing him and his daughter gone has really affected me personally”.
“I am personally not even a huge basketball fan, but I really looked up to Kobe because he was a super great person and it sucks losing a person like that.”
“Kobe was the type of person that had that monumental impact and stature with all the things he had done. It really shocked me to my core because he should have never died like that and deserved better. I just hope his family and the rest of the victims who were on that plane’s family find strength at this time”.
“Kobe Bryant was supposed to live forever and it’s like the guy that was never supposed to die, died. I don’t even want to be on social media because of all the posts. I go on Twitter and seeing everyone posts about his passing makes me so sad. He made the Earth stand still for sure”.