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Local basketball coaches share their thoughts on Kobe Bryant legend | Sports

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Last week, January 26, marked two years since Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, passed away following tragic circumstances.

Kobe was remembered on the field for being the hardest worker and fiercest competitor. Off the pitch, he was known as a devoted father of daughters.

Remembering the legend of Kobe Bryant, local Limestone County basketball coaches share their thoughts on what made Kobe great.

Several coaches have been contacted, but not all have responded at press time.

mike holt

Clements Boys Basketball Coach

Q: What did you like about Kobe’s mentality on and off the pitch?

A: Kobe was a fierce competitor who didn’t like to lose on either side of the basketball court.

It seemed like he never took a game. His mentality was always to work harder to find a way to beat you.

Q: Do you take anything from Kobe’s game/mentality that you try to instill in your players?

A: We tell our players that if you want to get really good, you have to do a lot more than what happens during the designated practice time.

You have to sacrifice other things in life to achieve your goals.

Q: Do you have any players who looked up to Kobe or had him as a favorite player?

A: Half of our team asked if we could paint our locker room purple and gold with their number for this year. I’m glad our players got to see him play because he played the game the way it’s supposed to be played: motivated.

Lauren Evans

Lindsay Lane, women’s basketball coach

Q: What did you like about Kobe’s mentality on and off the pitch?

A: Kobe was known as a hard worker. He was determined to outdo everyone, even as a professional with immense, God-given talent.

Q: Do you take anything from Kobe’s game/mentality that you try to instill in your players?

A: You need to have that internal motivation to work not only during the season or during scheduled workouts/workouts, but also on your own with a goal. J

his is universal and that is what separates the good from the great. It was his greatest strength. It was the Mamba mentality.

Q: Do you have any players who looked up to Kobe or had him as a favorite player?

A: Yes, Lindsey Murr and Kaili Sterling. Lindsey says he pushed himself to be the biggest competitor. Kaili says he pushed his teammates. He expected of them the same as himself.

Eric Smith

Elkmont Boys’ Basketball Coach

Q: What did you like about Kobe’s mentality on and off the pitch?

A: Kobe had the on-court mentality that ‘anything less than your best was just not an option’.

He worked better than anyone he played against, and that, combined with the talent he possessed, made him an incredible competitor.

Q: Do you take anything from Kobe’s game/mentality that you try to instill in your players?

A: The importance of hard work on and off the pitch. His willingness to prepare and put in the extra time it takes to be at his best.

We try to instill this mindset at every level of our program.

Q: Do you have any players who looked up to Kobe or had him as a favorite player?

A: We have an ongoing discussion virtually every day between our players on our program about the (Michael) Jordan, Kobe, LeBron (James) debate over who the “GOAT” in NBA history is.

Grace Newton

Clements women’s basketball coach

Q: What did you like about Kobe’s mentality on and off the pitch?

A: My favorite thing about Kobe’s mentality is his competitiveness and his approach to adversity.

I am extremely competitive and goal oriented. The quote that best describes this is “everything negative – pressure, challenges – are all opportunities for me to rise”.

Q: Do you take anything from Kobe’s game/mentality that you try to instill in your players?

A: There are a lot of things I take away from Kobe that I try to instill in my players.

Every day of our training program, I have a “thought for the day”.

Some of my favorite Kobe quotes that I’ve used are:

“The important thing is that your teammates know that you are shooting for them and that you really want them to succeed.”

“The mindset is not the search for results. It’s more about the process to get to that result. It’s about the journey and the approach.

“A lot of people say they want to be great, but they’re not willing to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve greatness.”

Q: Do you have any players who looked up to Kobe or had him as a favorite player?

A: When I ask them who their favorite was, it’s always in the Top 3 if not the first.

I’m not sure they really remember him playing, but I think even in his tragic death he had an impact on basketball.

Dakota James

West Limestone Girls’ Basketball Coach

Q: What did you like about Kobe’s mentality on and off the pitch?

A: I like that Kobe isn’t exhausted. All those crazy stories about his training and practices.

You can see why people think he’s one of the greats. It was the attitude of not losing on the pitch.

He knew when he walked into an arena that he was the best player, he wanted to take the big shots, he knew he could hit the big shots and it was thanks to his work off the pitch.

Q: Do you take anything from Kobe’s game/mentality that you try to instill in your players?

A: I try to preach to my children to work hard. Refuse to be overwhelmed during training or a match.

If you go hard and do everything as hard as you can, eventually a good thing will happen.

Q: Do you have any players who looked up to Kobe or had him as a favorite player?

A: I think we’re moving away from the generation that grew up watching Kobe and it’s moving towards LeBron (James), but there are a lot of kids who are impressed when they see real Kobe games.

I grew up loving Kobe Bryant and I try to tell my kids all the time he’s the GOAT

Sam Wallace

Elkmont Women’s Basketball Coach

Q: What did you like about Kobe’s mentality on and off the pitch?

A: Kobe was a winner. He called it a Mamba mentality. It’s been called a lot of things, but just don’t settle for anything less than being the best version of yourself. This applies in training, during games and in life. Know that someone out there is always working to beat you. So every day you don’t bring the best version of yourself, someone passes you by.

Q: Do you take anything from Kobe’s game/mentality that you try to instill in your players?

A: We do a quote of the day every day before training. Here’s a quote from Kobe that we’ve used before:

“We can still be average and do what is normal. I’m not here to do the normal.

Obviously what he is talking about is bigger than basketball. It’s his Mamba mentality.

Q: Do you have any players who looked up to Kobe or had him as a favorite player?

A: Our girls know who Kobe is. Guys I’ve coached in the past admired him too. He’s an all-time Top 5 player. We can learn a lot from him.

Jordan-Paul

Tanner Women’s Basketball Coach

Q: What did you like about Kobe’s mentality on and off the pitch?

A: I was very impressed with his relentless work ethic and how he held himself and his teammates to such a high level of responsibility on the pitch.

Q: Do you take anything from Kobe’s game/mentality that you try to instill in your players?

A: I try to instill in my children the feeling of being “concerned with the work”. There are no shortcuts to success and Kobe understands that to be great you have to be willing to work/play at a level that your opponent doesn’t want to match.

Q: Do you have any players who looked up to Kobe or had him as a favorite player?

A: A few girls asked to wear his shoes, instead of the team shoes, in his memory at the game after his death.

Capriee Tucker

Athens women’s basketball coach

Q: What did you like about Kobe’s mentality on and off the pitch?

A: Kobe’s mentality was the same no matter what he was doing. I especially liked how he made everything into a competition and attacked it like it was a basketball game. He’s been consistent in his efforts throughout his career and that, in my opinion, is what helped him have one of the best NBA tenures of all time.

Q: Do you take anything from Kobe’s game/mentality that you try to instill in your players?

A: Yes. The reason it would be good to have his mentality instilled in my players is so they can work off the pitch without me telling them. He attacked every possession, practice and game with the same intensity. It’s important for my players to take that same intensity and transfer it into life after basketball. I want this for my team.