Students React to Death of Kobe Bryant

The passing of Kobe Byrant causes ARCC students to reflect on how sports stars have impacted their own lives.

Carmen Garcia and Payton Larkin, Staff Writers

Kobe Bryant set the tone of what it’s like to have a sports idol. Image Credit: Alexandra Walt

The death of sports superstar Kobe Bryant affected the lives of many. Bryant was an inspiration to athletes, sports fans, and even just those who aspire to his well-known “mamba mentality.”

ARCC Cambridge students reacted to the January 26 passing of Bryant and commented about which athletes have made an impact in their lives, and who they believe would receive as much recognition as Bryant did.

Regarding Bryant’s death, ARCC student Denzelle Evangelista stated, “I dead ass (sic) cried. I grew up watching Kobe Bryant play in the playoffs with my dad.”

Other students around campus described Bryant’s unexpected death as “sad.”

Some students were more affected by the death of Bryant himself, whereas others felt more strongly about his 13-year-old daughter’s passing, as well. Perhaps those who follow sports more closely were specifically focused on Bryant and how that would impact the basketball community.

Street pop artist Mr. Brainwash created this mural in California in honor of Bryant and his daughter. Image Credit: Joey Zanotti

There are many athletes other than Bryant who leave a tremendous impact on the lives of students, as well. Students mentioned American professional tennis player, Serena Williams. Kirsten Artz and Evangelista mentioned how great it is to see a woman represent an entire sport and thrive.

Serena Williams is a big inspiration, especially to women within the sports scene.
Image Credit: Helsingborgs Dagblad

Students listed big-time names such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, Stefon Diggs, Steph (Stephen) Curry and Adrian Peterson, mentioning that these athletes inspire them outside of sports. Whether it be family, faith, or charity work, sports stars ultimately can inspire many to be better people.

As the sports world examined the death of Bryant, thoughts began circulating: if we were to lose another sports idol, who would draw this level of attention? Student Tyler Delger said, “Probably would have to be another basketball star, someone that lots of people know.” Artz had a similar answer, “Big time male sports athlete.” Michael Jordan and Lebron James were popular answers around campus, which shows how much impact these basketball players have had on students’ lives.

Giannis Antetokounmpo (pictured in green) went from looking up to Bryant to becoming the Bryant of his generation. Image Credit: Jose Garcia

Mourning the death of anyone who was publicly adored is difficult. Reflecting on their greatness and how they have impacted our lives is just one way of showing respect. Sports is a big part of our culture, and we should appreciate those who have inspired us before it’s time to move on.