Kobe Bean Bryant of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania passed away on Sunday, Jan. 26 in Calabasas, California in a helicopter accident along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant. Kobe Bryant was 41-years-old. He was best known for the 20 years he spent as an American professional basketball player. With the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA draft, the Charlotte Hornets selected Bryant from Lower Merion High School, and he was immediately traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for Vlade Divac. He remained with the Lakers for his entire 20-year career, at the time a record. 

He was an 18-time all-star, a five-time NBA champion, an 11-time All-NBA team first team member, a two-time member of the all-NBA second and third team, a 12-time member of the All-Defensive team and the most in NBA history, including nine first-team selections. Additionally, following the 2007-2008 NBA season, Bryant was the NBA MVP.  He led the NBA in scoring twice, once in 2006 and again in 2007. Bryant has the record for second-most points in a game when he had 81 points versus the Toronto Raptors in 2006. Kobe’s work ethic was unparalleled, he wasn’t always the biggest or strongest or fastest or quickest, but he always was the hardest worker on the court.  

In addition to his on-court accomplishments, he was also known for making a difference off the court. Kobe Bryant was an ambassador for After-School All-stars that created after school programs for children. In addition, he started the Kobe Bryant China Fund that raised money earmarked for education and health programs. Bryant was also known as a businessman, building his own empire as CEO of Kobe Inc. He was a beloved son to Joe and Pam Bryant, brother to Sharia and Shaya Bryant, husband to Vanessa Laine Bryant and father to Natalia, Bianka, Capri and Gianna Bryant.