Saddleback College remembers Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna

Saddleback College students out pour of sympathy and remembrance of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi (Frank Rocha/Lariat)

Saddleback College and Lariat staff remembers the legend Kobe Bean Bryant and his daughter Gianna, 13, along with 7 others who died in a devastating helicopter crash in Calabasas on a way to basketball game in Southern California. The 2018 Oscar-award winning, 2-time Gold medalist, 5-time NBA Champion, 2-time Finals MVP, 18-time NBA All-Star and youth basketball coach to his daughter Gianna’s elementary school basketball team, has passed away at the age of 41.

The day after the Sunday tragedy on Jan. 26, Saddleback College put up a dry-erase board on Monday morning, organized by Donald F. Mineo, the career guidance specialist at Saddleback College. The board hosts many prayers, regards, wishes, prayers, good-byes, testimonials and thanks to Kobe and Gianna.

Students gave an outpouring response to the heart breaking news with the Lariat.

“I never grew up here in OC. I never knew how much he meant to LA and the world. And how much he meant to our community. Now I do.” – Devon David

“Kobe was a father figure, an inspiration to the youth. He motivated me to be my best self.” – Kylah Bryan

“Kobe is a childhood hero.” – Marco Sanchez

“Go Lakers! God Bless You! Mamba Out!, love.” – Christopher Triah

“Thank you for teaching us how to be legends. World’s greatest basketball player will be missed.” – Maddy S.

“Life is to short. Live for every moment. I’m thinking about the Bryant family right now. And there pain.” – Emi

“Kobe motivated me to do better. And to love every minute of life. The mamba mentality is real.” – Xavier Ramirez

“A role model, committed to the game, hard worth ethic, and much more than basketball itself. We are also in the same age group.” – Dan Clauss, Dean of Athletics and Kinesiology at Saddleback.

“The game of basketball will never be the same.” – Max

Mineo who created the on campus board of remembrance, posted six quotes by Kobe. A few notable quotes are, “Everything negative – pressure, challenges — is all an opportunity for me to rise.” And, “The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great at whatever they want to do.”

Mineo has friends that are friends of the Bryant family. Even Kobe stops by his friends job at an Italian restaurant repeatedly and speaks fluent Italian with the patrons and owners of said restaurant with every visit. Kobe had grew up in Italy as young child, as his father “Jelly Bean” Joe Bryant played professional basketball. “Students need to heal, as Kobe was a leader in education and meant to a lot of students and myself who are inspired by Kobe’s work ethic and drive,” says Mineo. “Nothing was planned, its just needed right now.”

What did Kobe Bryant mean to you and a memory that you will never forget?