Back in July Kobe Bryant took some time out to play some tennis with rising American star Taylor Johnson. This led to fellow American star Coco Vandeweghe, niece of former basketball player and current league executive Kiki Vandeweghe, to challenge him as well. Kobe agreed, but the two have yet to meet up.
Now Vandeweghe is in the midst of an impressive run at the US Open. Vandeweghe andvanced to the semi-finals after defeating No. 1 seed Karolina Pliskova, joining fellow Americans Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens with a fourth, Madison Keys, having the opportunity to make it an all American semis.
After defeating Pliskova, Vandeweghe was asked about her challenge to Bryant on Twitter and Vandeweghe didn’t back down. According to ESPN’s Arash Markazi, Vandeweghe offered for Bryant to warm her up:
Coco Vandeweghe on challenging Kobe to a tennis match on Twitter. "If Kobe wants to warm me up out here on Ashe he's more than welcome."
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) September 6, 2017
Whether or not Kobe takes Vandeweghe up on this offer remains to be seen as Kobe is pretty busy, but it would be a great thing to see as Vandeweghe is truly a rising star in the sport.
Most recently, Kobe took some time to appear at the Hollywood Bowl and read his ‘Dear Basketball’ retirement poem while legendary composer John Williams conducted an orchestra behind him. Story-telling is what Kobe is all about and he loved the chance to spend time with someone he truly admires in Williams.
Growing up in a family full of former athletes and basketball players, it is very likely that Vandeweghe grew up watching and admiring Kobe. The chance to be able to hit some shots with him would likely be a dream come true, and well-deserved for one of tennis’ brightest young stars.