Kobe Bryant remains an inspiration to future generations of basketball stars, even after the tragic death of the Los Angeles Lakers legend.
Bryant partnered with Sports Academy CEO Chad Faulkner to launch the Mamba Sports Academy in 2018. There, the legendary Lakers hosted practice sessions for NBA and WNBA stars and trained the daughter’s AAU women’s basketball team, Gianna.
In the summer of 2019, one of the nation’s top high school prospects, Cashmere’s Hailey Van Lith, attended Team Mamba practices after an invitation from Bryant – who recognized the point guard’s talent. She developed a close relationship with Kobe and Gianna before the two died in a helicopter crash in January 2020.
A Cashmere graduate, Van Lith moved to Louisville and just made the Final Four of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament in her sophomore year. When asked what advice Bryant would likely give him ahead of the Cardinals’ semi-final appearance, Van Lith gave an answer that resonates with the NBA great’s legendary Mamba Mentality, via Jomboy Media:
Louisville’s Hailey Van Lith said Kobe Bryant would tell her “go fuckin’ win this shit” 😤 pic.twitter.com/8MDub95mOR
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) March 29, 2022
Van Lith scored a game-high 22 points to fire Louisville to its fourth Final Four appearance. In the semifinals, the Cardinals will face No. 1 seed South Carolina on Friday.
Louisville has yet to win the national championship in the program’s 46-year history.
Nike continues to produce Bryant’s shoes
Vanessa Bryant has announced that the family’s partnership with Nike will continue after months of uncertainty over the future of Bryant’s famous shoe line.
Under the agreement, the Bryant Estate and Nike will partner to support underserved athletes, boys and girls, in sports – with efforts including the launch of a youth basketball center in California du South.
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