LYNDHURST, Ohio (WJW) — A prestigious high school basketball tournament on Sunday suddenly turned somber when they learned the news of Kobe Bryant’s death.
The NBA legend was one of nine people killed when their helicopter crashed about thirty miles northwest of Los Angeles on Sunday morning.
Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, was also one of the victims.
For the young players on the court in Lyndhurst, some of the best players in this region and in the nation, Bryant was a basketball icon.
“It’s basically like he’s a founding father of basketball,” said Phillip Joseph, a Spire basketball player. “He’s someone I model my game after.”
“He changed a lot of the game,” said Aundre Polk, another Spire player, “and it just hurts.”
“My stomach is in curls right now,” said Chet Mason, a star basketball player at South High who later played in the developmental league in Cleveland and Los Angeles, and who knew Kobe Bryant.
“Kobe was a great guy,” he said. “It’s tough.”