Local Athletes React to Kobe Bryant's Death

Ryan Juntti
Updated: January 27, 2020 10:35 PM

The world continues to mourn the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant. Investigators are trying to piece together what caused the deadly helicopter crash on Sunday, killing Bryant, his daughter, and seven others.


Many kids grew up idolizing Bryant, and his "Black Mamba" killer instinct mentality, so Bryant's death hits close to home with basketball players at UMD and UWS.

For some, he was more than a basketball player.

"Just an idol. I think while he was still playing on the court he was a legend," said UWS Senior Forward Colton Williams.

But the sports world is now having to come to grips with the fact that Bryant, a legendary face of the NBA, isn't coming back.

"Yesterday kind of felt like a dream because you feel like those people are like superheroes, and then they're just, gone," said UWS Senior Shooting Guard Mac Reykdal.

"We were shook, we were sad, it was just kind of like a wave that hit our team, and we couldn't believe it happened," said UMD Redshirt Freshman Guard Drew Blair.

"Growing up watching him play, and then just the so sudden death, I just thought it was fake. Devastated to say the least," said Williams.

Through his sheer passion for the game, Bryant inspired all to want to be the best.

"I'll remember him as the most competitive basketball player that I've ever seen," said UMD Senior Forward Brandon Myer.

"I think what I'll take from him the most is probably just his competitive spirit. He instilled it every minute he was on the court, and that's something that I try to instill in my game today," said Williams.

So while he is no longer with us, his legacy will continue to live on through those he's impacted.

"He kind of made me look at the game a different way, and he made it seem like if you're not doing everything, you're not doing enough, so I think he pushed me to just become a better player, better person overall," said Blair.

"Not really just looking for the end goal, but just taking that step every day to get better and then hopefully you will achieve your goal in the end," said Williams.


Ryan Juntti

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