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Kobe Bryant’s Inspiring Message To Daughters Shown As Final Note In Memorial Program

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 24 Feb 2020 18:54
Kobe Bryant's Inspiring Message To Daughters Shown As Final Note In Memorial ProgramKobe Bryant's Inspiring Message To Daughters Shown As Final Note In Memorial ProgramPA Images/Omar Jimenez/Twitter

Thousands attended a memorial for the late basketball star Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna today, February 24, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

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The father and daughter were two of nine people to die in a tragic helicopter crash last month, January 26.

According to reports, over 88,000 people applied for tickets to the memorial, but the Staples Center, aka ‘the house that Kobe built’, only holds 20,000.

Kobe memorial Kobe memorial PA images

The date 24/02 was purposely chosen due to the fact both numbers, 24 and 2, were the jersey numbers of Kobe and Gianna, who was an up-and-coming basketball star herself.

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As per CNN, president of the Staples Center Lee Zeidman said:

I can tell you, as a venue operator, for 35 years, I was at the Forum, now the Staples Center, I have never seen more roses in my entire life in there. There are about 35,000 roses that are surrounding the center stage.

Kobe Bryant and GiannaKobe Bryant and GiannaPA Images

On the back of the program handed out to attendees of the memorial was a message from Kobe Bryant, written to his daughters.

It read:

Lastly to our daughters … You guys know that if you do the work, you work hard enough, dreams come true. You know that, we all know that.

But hopefully what you get from tonight is that those times when you get up early and you work hard; those times when you stay up late and you work hard; those times when don’t feel like working – you’re too tired, you don’t want to push yourself – but you do it anyway. That is actually the dream. That’s the dream. It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.

And if you guys can understand that, what you’ll see happen is that you won’t accomplish your dreams, your dreams won’t come true, something greater will. And if you guys can understand that, then I’m doing my job as a father.

Earlier this month Kobe was named as a finalist for the 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame, alongside other players such as Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett.

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Following Kobe being announced as a finalist, Jerry Colangelo, Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, said:

When the nominees for the Class of 2020 were announced in December, we knew this class had the potential of being one of the most historic of all time.

The untimely passing of Kobe Bryant has left us in a state of reflective mourning and we’re proud to honour his legacy while also recognising seven other individuals who have meant so much to our game. We congratulate our finalists and those who have supported them on their journeys.

The Hall’s Class of 2020 will be announced during the NCAA Final Four in Atlanta on April 4.

Gianna dreamed of playing for the University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team, the Huskies, and just days after her death, the team paid tribute to the rising star by reserving a seat for her with a special Huskies jersey placed on it, along with a bouquet of white roses and daisies.

The team’s Twitter account shared a photo of the tribute, writing alongside it:

Mambacita is forever a Husky

Kobe and Gianna are survived by Kobe’s wife Vanessa, and their three other daughters, Natalia, Bianka and Capri.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Sport, basketball, Gianna Bryant, Huskies, Kobe Bryant, LA Lakers, Los Angeles, Memorial, Staples Center