Kobe Bryant us one of the most influential figures in basketball. ‘The Mamba’ rose to fame starting with the sport and became one of the best layers to play the game. However, in his early days, Kobe did not really have a choice. Coming from Italy, basketball was his only language to blend in.
Unlike other kids at his high school, Bryant had a different situation. He came in from an Italian household as he grew up in Italy all his life. Then all of a sudden, He came in to Lower Merion High School and had no idea about the ongoings. Hence, for Bryant, he could only turn to basketball to fit in. The Mamba passed all parameters set and became the most important graduate of his high school.
Kobe Bryant answers questions during a press conference held at the Lakers training facility in El Segundo, Calif.. Thursday, July 15, 2004. Bryant chose the Lakers over the Clippers, remaining with the team he joined in 1996 at age 18 and later helped win three NBA championships. (Photo by Steve Grayson/WireImage)
Mike Sielski spoke about Bryant’s life during high school with the release of his new book, “The Rise: Kobe Bryant and the Pursuit of Immortality.”
Kobe Bryant lived through basketball
Sielski spoke about Bryant’s early life and how he was different from the other kids at his high school. Kobe came in from a much different neighborhood in Italy. Hence, when he entered Lower Merion, he was new to everything. But his love for basketball propelled him to be one of the most important figures in his high school.
Sielski said: “By the time he graduates, he’s the most important popular figure at school. And it cuts across all those demographics. He becomes this point of pride for a community that had never really rallied around its basketball program before.”
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Because Bryant had only basketball as his medium, he flourished and put Lower Merion on the map. Bryant led the Aces to their first PIAA championship since 1943, with a stunning record of 31-3. In that season Kobe Bryant averaged a whooping 30 points, 12 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 4 steals and 3.8 blocks. He set the bar high and declared for the 1996 NBA draft right after his final year.
He got a lot of recognition through Lower Merion as he bagged multiple awards to his name. This pushed the ‘Mamba’ to be the 13th overall pick in the NBA draft as he was picked by the Charlotte Hornets. He was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers on draft night, which began his story of greatness in the NBA. Basketball became the one and only love for Kobe since high school, and he delivered on every level.