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FunTimes Magazine

Celebrate the Life and Career of NBA Star and #GirlDad Kobe Bryant

Aug 23, 2021 11:00AM ● By Kassidy Garland

Kobe Bean Bryant was born on August 23, 1978, in Philadelphia, PA. His father, former NBA player, Joe "Jelly Bean" Bryant named him after a city in Japan. He grew up with two sisters, Shaya and Sharia.

In 1984, after his father’s retirement from the NBA, the Bryant family moved to Italy, so his father could play in the Italian League. Growing up in Italy, Kobe learned to speak fluent Italian, and found a love for basketball and soccer. When his family moved back to the US in 1991, Kobe immediately joined his school’s basketball team, aiding them in their journey to the state championships four years in a row.

Although he received high SAT scores and great overall grades in school, Kobe was clearly destined for the NBA. Kobe was selected by the Charlotte Hornets as the 13th overall pick of the 1996 NBA draft but was later traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he would remain for the entirety of his NBA career.

In just his second season, Bryant became the youngest aAll-star in NBA history at the age of 19. Bryant joined the Lakers and shared the title of “star player” with Shaquille O’Neal. Together, the two would lead the Lakers to three consecutive NBA championships. 


In 2003, he ran into some legal trouble with sexual assault allegations that would be settled in court in 2005. He emerged as “The Black Mamba”, an alter ego he created for himself to get through his legal and career struggles. 

Bryant led his team to a number of championships during his career, scoring him several endorsement deals including Adidas and Sprite. He eventually retired from the NBA in 2016 after a two-decades- long career.

In addition to his NBA career, Bryant played for the US Olympic basketball team alongside Lebron James, Kevin Durant, and Carmelo Anthony at both the 2008 and 2012 games. Kobe Bryant was also incredibly involved with charity work. He and his wife began the Kobe & Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation, and he created the  Kobe Basketball Academy.

On January 26, 2020, while on their way to a girl’s basketball tournament at the Mamba Sports Academy, Kobe Bryant, his 13- year- old daughter, Gianna, and 9 other people died when their helicopter crashed in Calabasas. Their passing rocked the sports world and support for his remaining family, wife, Vanessa, and daughters, Natalia, Bianka, and Capri, was everywhere. Kobe’s comment from an interview went viral and inspired #girldad as he believes that was one of his greatest accomplishments in life.






 Kassidy Garland has had a great appreciation for reading and writing since she was young. She graduated from West Chester University in 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in English & Women and Gender Studies. With a concentration in creative writing, Kassidy has 5 years of experience writing blogs, articles, and for social media. Kassidy is also pursuing a Master’s degree in IT with a concentration in Web Development. Based out of Philadelphia, Kassidy loves to write about a number of topics and looks forward to sharing her passion with those at FunTimes Magazine. 

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