UMD Men’s Basketball Team React to Death of Kobe, Gianna Bryant
The Bulldogs were shocked to hear the news on Sunday afternoon.
DULUTH, Minn. – This past Sunday, the world of basketball was forever changed as NBA legend Kobe Bryant, along with nine others including his 13-year-old daughter, died in a helicopter crash in Southern California. The news definitely hit home for the UMD men’s basketball team as they spoke about their reactions.
“First, it was just disbelief. Somebody like that, you just don’t think they can die. They’re almost invincible. And it’s a childhood hero for most of us. It’s pretty sad but he taught a lot of us to love the game and be fearless when doing it,” said freshman guard Jack Middleton.
“We were kind of just shocked honestly. We took five minutes and nobody really said anything. We were just like wow. We couldn’t believe it. Obviously he was a guy that most kids in our generation looked up to,” freshman guard Drew Blair said.
“It was a kind of empty feeling for our team just because we knew someone who was such a pioneer for the game. I remember growing up, I kind of rooted against him. But I rooted against him because I was so sick of him winning. So that inspired me big time because if somebody is sick of me winning, then I’m doing something right,” said senior forward Brandon Myer.
“Myself included, as well as our guys, kind of grew up with Kobe Bryant. He was one of the first guys I had a jersey of growing up. So it’s obviously a really tough day for basketball and we’re going to be feeling the effects of that for quite a while,” assistant coach Carson Shanks said.
“You start talking about him being a father and his daughter on the plane as well. He was really proud of his kids and really proud of what his daughters were doing. He had so much more to give back to the game of basketball. Just a very sad day all around,” said head coach Justin Wieck.