MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) — It’s still hard to believe it has been one year since we lost basketball great Kobe Bryant. Last year, Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Los Angeles County, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other victims.
Bryant graduated from Lower Merion High School and on the anniversary of his death, his alma mater is set to play the Haverford High School.
For the game, the Lower Merion basketball team has 33-second moment of silence planned for Bryant — that was his high school jersey number.
Bryant is a Hall-of-Famer, an Oscar-award winner and one of the most beloved figures in sports history.
Current Sixers head coach Doc Rivers took some time to share memories of the legend.
“I had a competitive relationship with him, I had a personal relationship with him. That was a difficult day for everybody, it’s still difficult when you think about it,” Rivers said.
His journey started at Lower Merion High School where his head coach Gregg Downer learned a thing or two from the kid.
“Well, I was a pretty young coach when I got him and I was raw and I didn’t really have all the answers. I was making mistakes like a lot of young coaches would,” he said. “But he taught me a hatred of losing. He taught me an incredible work ethic. He taught me kind of a no excuse, no shortcut mindset, and my work ethic and my no shortcut mindset has been a big part of my success and a big part of the Aces’ success.”
The Haverford School is honoring Bryant with a mural known as the “Mamba Mural” at the school’s library.
— Haverford Basketball (@FordsBasketball) January 26, 2021
Black Mamba was Bryant’s nickname and inspiration for his so-called “mamba mentality” which meant being the best at your craft and doing it without fear.
CBS3’s Don Bell contributed to this report.