Daphne Lee, Taiwan
The legendary player after Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, retired after his final game against Utah jazz on April 13th, 2016. Even in his last game, he scored 60 points and drew a perfect ending of his basketball career.
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as a son of former NBA player Joe Bryant, Kobe Bryant started to play basketball at the age of 3. When he was six, his father left the NBA and moved to Rieti in Italy to continue playing professional basketball, which is when Kobe learned to speak fluent Italian. During the summer, Kobe would go back to America to play in basketball summer league. Kobe’s favorite team when he grew up was the Lakers, which he served in when he played in NBA. In 1991 when his father retired from playing basketball, the family moved back to America.
Kobe started his success at his young age. During his junior year, he averaged 31.1 points, 10.4 rebounds which made he named as the ’Pennsylvania Player of the Year’. In his senior year in high school, he led his team to their first state championship in 53 years. In 1996, his talent has been seen and was selected to play for the L.A. Lakers. At that time, he was 18 years and 72 days old, the youngest player ever to play in a NBA game. As his performance improved, he get to play longer and longer in the game. In 1999, he became a part of the All-NBA, All defensive and All-Star teams.
Kobe had set tons of records and won lots of awards. With no doubt, his success came from his hard work and his crazy passion for basketball. When he injured his right shoulder in the game, he started to shoot with his left arm. In the break when his coach asked him why instead of asking a break he shot with his left hand, he answered: “God gave us two arms.” Another interesting story is that when he torn his Achilles tendon and was forced to rest from games, the only thing he wanted to know is how fast would he be able to return to the basketball court.
Now that Kobe had retired, he planned to go to Italy and establish a center to teach young players basketball skills. He will keep on working out, stay in good shape and stay active. “It’s important from a healthy perspective and also to maintain a schedule.” He said.