Permian Basin basketball community reacts to loss of Kobe Bryant


The death of Kobe Bryant, along with his daughter Gianna, has continued to rally together basketball fans across the world.

Seven others were also killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday just north of Los Angeles.

Watch the video above to see what several coaches and current/former players from the Permian Basin had to say about Bryant’s loss and legacy.

Head coach Josh Newman said the tragic accident really impacted him because he has a 12-year-old daughter who also plays basketball.

“How can I take advantage of my time with my daughter and my family?” Newman said.

Watch the video below to hear Newman’s full thoughts on the life and legacy of Kobe Bryant.

Big 2/Fox 24 also caught up with Midland Christian boys basketball coach Chris Ryburn.

Ryburn applauded Bryant’s work ethic saying “He’s kind of like the poster child for gym rats…”

“He dedicated his life to basketball and it certainly impacted the game,” he said.

Ryburn said he grew up watching Bryant, and said the legendary guard changed the game of basketball. He said Bryant’s in the same category as Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar because of what he did on the court.

Watch the video below to hear Ryburn’s full thoughts on Kobe’s impact on the game of basketball.

Midland High head coach Shan Hooker said Pistol Pete was the first 6’6″ guard he could remember having a standout career in the League and he thought Bryant continued that legacy.

Watch the video below to hear more from Coach Hooker.

Along with having a legendary career in the NBA, Bryant was also a champion for women sports. His daughter, Gianna, who was also killed in the accident was highly-immersed in the sport. The company was traveling to an AAU basketball game when the crash occurred.

Bryant said he wanted to see Gianna play in the WNBA someday. UTPB head women’s basketball coach Rae Boothe admired Bryant and his support of women’s basketball and women’s sports in general.

Watch the video below to hear her response.

Midland Lee head girls coach Alfred Acosta also praised Bryant and his support for women’s basketball. He also said he tries to instill Kobe’s work ethic into his own teams. Acosta said he tries to apply the “Mamba Mentality” to everything in his life and in his players’ lives like Kobe used to.

“I think a lot of what Kobe preached and he talked about, we’ve tried to instill in the girls,” he said.

Watch the video below for Acosta’s full thoughts on “Mamba Mentality.”

Odessa High girl’s basketball head coach Marcus Chapa also praised Bryant’s work ethic and pointed out his impact on girl’s basketball.

“I believe his goal was to guide the young females (on his team) to where they needed to be in live, especially with his daughter being at the age of 13. I think that was just a calling on his life that he really took seriously,” Chapa said.

Watch the video below to hear from Chapa’s thoughts on Kobe.

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