We are over 24 hours removed from the sudden death of NBA great Kobe Bryant, but there is still a heaviness on the sports world, especially in the basketball community.
Bryant influenced an entire generation of the players and coaches through the years, including ACU coaches Joe Golding and Julie Goodenough. We talked to both of them today and got their reactions.
Joe Golding said, “Kobe lived 41 years and lived an incredible life, a life that we were all jealous of. I mean he was one of the greatest players ever in the NBA, one of the greatest players to ever play. He was one of the first one and dones to ever go do it. I think he was 17 years old when he played his first NBA game. He had four beautiful girls, was married over 20 years, obviously a leader both on and off the floor.”
Julie Goodenough said, “One of the things he’s done since his retirement, he’s been such an outspoken advocate for women’s basketball and girls in sports and being really invested in his daughter’s lives and in their basketball program. We understand that one of the largest AAU programs in California this summer, they were gonna become the Mamba mentality travel team and I’m sure they will, but just a really sad day.”
Bryant and his daughter were two of the nine people in the helicopter when it crashed on Sunday morning. The cause of the crash is still being investigated.