A few words on Kobe Bryant…

I hope everyone will please indulge me as I say a few words with my thoughts of the tragedy that occurred yesterday. By now, everyone has heard and is processing the terrible news of the tragic passing of basketball legend Kobe Bryant and 8 others including his 13 year old daughter Gigi, in the unspeakable helicopter accident yesterday in California. I toyed with dropping in a few lines at the end of the basketball game summary yesterday evening but I didn’t feel like it would do justice to the man or the others and families that are affected by the tragedy. Kobe was many things to many people but for those of us that witnessed him play the game of basketball, he was an icon, a legend and certainly one of the best I’d ever seen play.  I am old enough to have witnessed Magic Johnson at his best and the entirety of Michael Jordan’s career and now LeBron James. Kobe was right there in the team picture with the greatest of all time. He touched our own Buckeye basketball team quite personally with his relationship with Duane Washington, Jr., who referred to him as “Uncle Kobe”, due to his relationship with Duane’s uncle Derek Fisher who was a teammate of Kobe’s with the Lakers. However, he was much more than that.  He was the ‘Black Mamba’, a fierce competitor with a drive for success like nobody we have ever seen.  He was also a successful businessman post basketball, an Oscar winner, and most importantly a dedicated family man and Dad. I think this is where most of us can relate to him the most.  I have a daughter the same age as Kobe’s and she also plays basketball and I know the absolute joy it gives me to be ‘Coach Dad’ and watching her play a game that I love so much. To have Kobe and his daughter Gigi’s young life extinguished in such a tragic fashion gives me pause.  It’s moments like these that makes me realize how fragile life is and no matter what we are passionate about in our lives, be most passionate about our family.  Spend as much time with them while we can, because in an instant it can be taken from us. While we mourn the passing of the lives that were lost, we need to live, live the best lives we can, enjoy the moments because nobody is promised tomorrow, but we can live in the moments we are given and be thankful for each and every one of them. We all get fired up about the state of Buckeye basketball and it provides a wonderful distraction from the daily grind of our lives, but what matters most is the relationships and cultivating those to their fullest.  If you’re fortunate enough to have children, hug them a little tighter and enjoy your moments with them while you can.  If Kobe’s death can bring about any positive is that it provides even more of a reminder that life can be fleeting and to embrace what we are given and try to enjoy the time we have. I know I will enjoy my daughter’s basketball game this evening with a different mind than I may have otherwise would have.  Rest in Peace Mr. Bryant.  Your example can live in all of us, not just today, but every day. 

Jason Harris

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