Kobe Bryant remains an inspiration for the next generations of basketball stars even after the Los Angeles Lakers legend’s tragic death.
Bryant partnered with Sports Academy CEO Chad Faulkner to launch the Mamba Sports Academy in 2018. There, the legendary Lakers hosted workouts for NBA and WNBA stars and trained the AAU girls’ basketball team of his daughter, Gianna.
In the summer of 2019, a top high school prospect in the country, Cashmere’s Hailey Van Lith, attended the Mamba team’s workouts after an invitation from Bryant — who recognized the point guard’s talent. She developed a close relationship with both Kobe and Gianna before the two died in a helicopter crash in January 2020.
Having graduated from Cashmere, Van Lith joined Louisville and has just advanced to the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament’s Final Four in her sophomore year. Asked what advice would Bryant likely give her ahead of the Cardinals’ semi-finals appearance, Van Lith gave a response that resonates with the NBA great’s fabled Mamba Mentality, via Jomboy Media:
Louisville’s Hailey Van Lith said Kobe Bryant would tell her “going fucking 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 semi-finals, the Cardinals will face No. 1 overall seed South Carolina on Friday.
Louisville is yet to win the national championship in the program’s 46-year history.
Nike to continue producing Bryant’s shoes
Vanessa Bryant has announced the family’s partnership with Nike will continue after months of uncertainty over Bryant’s famous shoe line’s future.
Under the agreement, the Bryant estate and Nike will partner to support underserved athletes, both boys and girls, in sports — with the efforts including a launch of a youth basketball center in Southern California.
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