Interesting Facts About Basketball Legend Kobe BryantBy Peter C
On 26 January 2020, the world, especially basketball lovers, received the shocking news of the death of famous American professional basketball player Kobe Bean Bryant.
While he was one of the most successful basketball players during his time and also one of the greatest basketball players in NBA history, there are other interesting facts you need to know about Kobe Bryant.
Kobe Bean Bryant was born on 23 August 1978 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Although Kobe grew up to become a famous basketball player, he was not the first person to ever play the game in his family. His uncle, as well as his father, were both former basketball players.
If you don’t know, Kobe Bryant got his middle name “Bean” from his father. Kobe’s father, Joe Bryant, who was nicknamed “Jellybean” decided to include it as Kobe’s middle name.
Due to his unusual interest in sports, Kobe Bryant became fluent in Spanish and Italian. His father had to relocate his family to Italy so that he could continue as a professional player. For someone who started showing interest in sports activities at age 3, it was not a surprise that Kobe suddenly developed an interest in soccer and basketball in Italy.
He returned to the United States in 1991 and continued to pursue his basketball career. During his days at Merion High School, Kobe was part of his school’s team and won many individual awards, including the Gatorade Player of the Year award. Kobe also won the Pennsylvania State Championship.
Although the Charlotte Hornets had already drafted Kobe Bryant, he started playing professionally when the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team drafted him in 1996. Kobe struggled in his first year in the NBA, but he became the youngest ever to play the game in NBA history.
After becoming the youngest Dunk Contest winner at age 18, the Lakers decided to give him more playing time, and he began to show himself as a force to be reckoned with in the game.