January 26th, 2020 will be known as a date of tragedy within the sports world for years to come. Early that morning Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash. What went wrong on the helicopter that day is still unknown, but that is not the point of this post. The point of this post is to highlight the fact that while Kobe Bryant will always be remembered for his competitive drive and his goal to be the best he ever was, he should also be remembered as a great father to his children. In memory of them we will be highlighting his bond with Gianna and see him being the reason she was so much like him with her similar drive to be the very best.
Kobe Bryant was more than Gianna’s reason for taking up the game of basketball. He was also her coach and took her to NBA games to break down the game to her. He was much more than your typical father figure. He passed down his knowledge of the game to Gianna as he also passed down his competitive drive down to her. This has been shown as Kobe Bryant said in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel that whenever fans say that he needed to have a baby boy to carry on his legacy Gianna would look at him and say “Oy, I got this. No boy for that, I got this”.
Bryant was more than just a parent encouraging their child to play the game they loved. He was a coach and a mentor and in the following article entitled “The Good Father: Parental Expectations and Youth Sports” Jay Coakley examines fathers that have this kind of impact on their child’s sports career. May the families who were affected by this tragedy find peace as all of the sports world send their condolences to them.