Kobe Bryant, an amazing basketball player, was born on August 23, 1978 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to his parents, Joe and Pam Bryant. Kobe had two older sisters by the names of Shaya and Sharia, which made him the baby of the close-knit, Bryant family.
Being the son of a basketball player, Kobe spent his childhood with a basketball in his hands and he consistently found basketball to be a major and important part of his childhood while his entire family were highly involved in Joe Bryant’s basketball career as Kobe monitored his dad’s athletic maneuvers on the court and mimicked his movements which ultimately led to him becoming a NBA basketball professional. Kobe sometimes pretended to be the star of the show at a very young age as he shot basketball hoop during half-time at Joe’s games for the entertainment of the fans. Kobe was extremely impressed by his dad‘s moves on the basketball court, which inspired him to spend much of his time practicing the sport that led him to success in the NBA.
In the years 1991 and 1992, The Bryant family spent the European season in France when Joe began playing for a new team. While living in France, Kobe and his sisters commuted to an international school in Switzerland, and then after Joe retired his position with this team, the Bryant family moved back to the United States, where Sharia and Shaya began college, while Kobe began his first year in high school.
Kobe’s family lived in the suburb of Ardmore in a quaint and prosperous community, just outside of the city of Philadelphia. Kobe liked the Ardmore, but he continually worried about fitting in with others in his community.
Kobe played for the Sonny Hill League, where he became a top-rated player and then he played for Lower Marion High School’s varsity team who were called the Aces where Kobe continued in his search to fit in among his peers and playing basketball gave him incredible and ample means to fit in.
When Kobe was a junior in high school, he was given the title of Pennsylvania’s Player of the Year after he averaged 31.1 points, 10.4 rebounds and 5.2 assists during his games. He also was very popular with his cross-over dribble during the tournament which made him very popular at school and in his community.
College recruiters were quickly seeking out Kobe from all around the United States and with excellent grades and high SAT scores; Kobe had nothing that could hold him back from his dream of becoming a professional basketball player.
There were many colleges in which Kobe could choose from, but those that stood out the most to him were Duke, North Carolina, Villanova and Michigan but quickly Kobe considered going straight to the pros.
Kobe led his high school basketball team to a miraculous 32-3 record and his team gained the first state title in 42 years. Kobe had successfully put his team in the spotlight and it was very common to see Kobe in area newspapers, continuously and by the end of the year, Kobe Bryant had averaged 30.8 points a game which crushed Wilt Chamberlin’s record who also hailed from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
At a Beach Ball Classic tournament in South Carolina, Kobe, at the age of 17, Kobe impressed many talent scouts and he was considered NBA material and during a press conference in the Lower Merion gymnasium, Kobe announced that he would indeed be playing for the NBA.
Kobe then signed on with the William Morris Agency and signed contracts with major companies, such as Sprite and Adidas. Kobe was now well on his way to becoming a very popular basketball player and the days of feeling misplaced had all but dissipated.
A very memorable moment in Kobe Bryant’s life and basketball career was during the initial time when he first met with the Los Angeles Lakers and Jerry West, (Christopher, 2001) who was president of the team. Kobe played one-on-one with Dontae Jones. Kobe outplayed Jones and made the Mississippi State player seem like an amateur at the sport.
When Kobe was signed to the Los Angles Laker’s team, he had joined his favorite players. The contract that united him with the Los Angeles Lakers was worth $3.5 million to Kobe. He averaged 25 points per game with the Lakers team and with the large sum of money he had earned, he purchased his own home in Pacific Palisades and soon his entire family joined him there in California.
We learn on Court TV News, that (Court TV News, 2005) “An attorney for the woman accusing Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant of rape said Sunday, she wants a public airing of her federal lawsuit as soon as possible.” Kobe quickly became a public figure who was being held under the microscope after he was accused of rape which supposedly took place in a Vail area resort, during the year, 2003. He came under much scrutiny as his fans and others spectators watched to see if this court trial would move forward. The rape accusation tainted Bryant’s reputation but he still remains one of the most memorable basketball players in our American athletic history.
Christopher, Matt. (2001) “On the Court with Kobe Bryant”. Little, Brown Readers
Court TV News. (2007) “Lawyer, Kobe Bryant’s Accuser Wants Lawsuit Heard Quickly”. Kobe Bryant Sexual Assault Case.