Investigative Journalism- Kobe Bryant

Patrick Roghaar, Copy Editor

                When you hear the name Kobe Bryant, what comes to mind? Are you immediately rushed with the memories of his highlights? The 81 point game? The countless clutch moments and flashes of brilliance? Or maybe in recent times, the Calabasas helicopter crash that devastatingly took his and his daughter’s lives on January 26th. Kobe and his daughter Gianna were traveling via private helicopter to Gianna’s AAU basketball game, and the helicopter lost control and crashed into the mountains surrounding Calabasas, California. News spread globally, and within the hour, word had got out that an all time great was no longer with us.

The reactions were those of depression, grief, and frustration. Senior Josh Pigozzo states, “I found out while playing basketball actually. Someone had texted in me and my friends’ group chat. I thought it was fake.” Like Josh, many others couldn’t believe and process what they had read. The loss of a world-renowned icon as big as Kobe Bryant cast a dreary cloud over the whole world. Bryant was simply not ready to go. He was an incredible father, a very intelligent and well-respected man, and an all-around great human being. “I wasn’t even a super fan to be honest, but after I read the text I knew this was going to hurt the world.” Pigozzo, an athlete himself, playing on the East Lake High School Baseball team, knows what mental toughness is required to play at an elite level, and nobody could handle the pressure better than Kobe Bryant and his patented “Mamba mentality.”

It doesn’t take a basketball fan to know the imprint Kobe Bryant left on this world. Kobe Bryant dominated the basketball realm, won an Oscar for his documentary, and was an amazing husband and father to his wife and children. When asked about Kobe Bryant’s impact on society, my father, Peter Roghaar replied, “He’s got a lot of eggs in a lot of baskets. His competitiveness, his mamba mentality, he wasn’t afraid of anyone and never backed down from anything.” Kobe was a fierce competitor, and he was scary to go up against. Scary because you just knew you were not going to win in whatever form of competition it was. “I was most impressed with how he was able to contribute so much to society as a leader off the court,” senior Matt Trotto exclaims when asked what about Kobe Bryant impressed him most. Bryant set records on and off of the court, and by the end of his impressive career, everyone around the world knew the name Kobe Bryant.

Everyone knew the name, but the question was if this tragic event has increased Kobe’s significance. Matt Trotto explains that the passing of Kobe Bryant in the tragic accident “brought a new meaning to his name” and his accolades were seemingly overlooked and taken for granted while he was alive. Now that he has unfortunately passed, everyone now has fully looked back on the career and the life Kobe made for himself and it allows for us to just appreciate greatness. Kobe Bryant will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, and he will forever be honored by the Los Angeles Lakers both on the court of the Staples Center and the jerseys of all players.

The tragedy of the Calabasas helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant opened the eyes of many. Many made the realization that life is too precious, and one fluke could end a life in an instant. Many came to fully realize how much of an impact someone like Kobe can have on you. Kobe was a mogul, an icon, a role model, a father, a champion, an all-time great, a father, and a mamba. He was more than an athlete and was a multi-faceted, incredibly knowledgeable hard-worker who pulled his strengths together and became the greatness he is today. The wise words of Peter Roghaar states, “ The Black Mamba is irreplaceable, there will never be another Black Mamba. Ever. He is a generational beast.”  The passing of Kobe Bryant is a tragedy to our society. But Kobe was more than a great, he was a legend, and legends can never die.