Thank You Kobe

Where to even begin with this.

February 24, 2021, marked the one-year anniversary of the memorial service held at Staples Center for Kobe and Gigi Bryant after they passed away with seven others in a horrific helicopter accident on January 26, 2020. Honestly, from that point on we should have just known how awful the rest of that year was going to be. Kobe Bryant jersey Olivier Collet

It's still hard imagining that Kobe Bryant is no longer here with us, changing the world for the better. His constant support of women in sports will always be something that I cherish and hold deeply in my heart. Although I never had the chance to meet him, I was lucky enough to have a connection with him through my dad having worked with him for a couple of years. I feel blessed that Kobe even knew of my existence because my dad asked him to autograph one of his wizenard books and in it Kobe wrote, "To Ariana, make your wish, then WORK for it! - Kobe 24". I treasured that message so much, and even more so now with his passing.

This article serves as a way for me to indirectly thank Kobe for everything he's done. So here goes nothing.

basketball going through hoop Photo by Markus Spiske from Unsplash

Thank you for being an inspiration to me, even when I was a little girl who barely watched basketball. You managed to make me the strong and independent sports-loving woman I am today without even personally knowing me. Your constant support of women doing great things in all aspects of life will forever be something that I cherish. On days that it feels like a career as a broadcaster seems out of my reach and too far away, I think back to quotes you've said and your mamba mentality. I know that you wouldn't want me to doubt myself or give up on my ambitious dream. You'd want me to keep pushing myself, making myself uncomfortable but using that uncomfortable position I am in to grow as a broadcaster and as an individual. And lastly, just thank you for being, in my opinion anyway, the greatest basketball player of all time. Your highlights will forever be loved and cherished and will never fail to impress me. Watching you pull yourself up, while injured with a torn achilles, to shoot two free throws will always be admirable and inspiring when it comes to overcoming any obstacles life throws at me. Thank you for bringing attention to women in sports and making us feel as equally loved as our male-counterparts. And while it's still heartbreaking that you aren't here with us physically anymore, the way you changed and touched the world will forever be appreciated, and you will forever be loved and admired. Thank you, Kobe.

From your forever fan, Ariana Salinas

Image by Alexandru Manole from Pixabay