By: Haley Krawczyk and Matt Silver
Basketball superstar Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash on January 26 in Calabasas, California, among others.
Kobe’s death has had an impact on former and current students from Wethersfield High School. Many students looked up to Bryant and were shocked to learn of his passing.
Despite never having met the former NBA player, freshman Christian Bonvisuto said, “It just doesn’t feel right without him here today. He meant a lot to me and I am heartbroken by his passing.”
After playing professionally for twenty years for the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe retired from the NBA in 2016. As a senior who was able to see a younger version of Kobe, Tyren Watt said, “Kobe was a role model to a lot of younger people and even adults. He always had a positive attitude towards every challenge he faced.”
On the impact that Kobe’s death has had on her life outside of basketball, freshman varsity player Gabriella Tomaino said, “Ever since it happened, I took more risks and seized more opportunities. I think it is the perfect example of how tomorrow isn’t given, so you have to go out there and just live it like it’s your last minute.”
The media attention surrounding the death of Kobe Bryant represents the legacy and inspiration that he has left. “His biggest saying for young kids whether it be athletes, students, or just regular kids was to keep trying and it’s okay to fail. He definitely inspired me to never give on what I aim to do in life,” said junior,Kaitlin Ryan.
While the Bryants are the focus because of their notoriety, there are more families currently dealing with loss. There were seven additional passengers that died in the crash.
The media has recognized these individuals far less and sophomore Abigail King said, “Because Gigi and Kobe were the most well-known, they got the most attention. And it is almost like their lives mattered more. But, in reality, that’s not true.”
The students continue to grieve the loss of the famous player, his daughter, and the other passengers. Kobe’s influence on the sport will continue to impact players and students, despite his passing.
Written, edited, and produced by Wethersfield High School students, covering all news and events.