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  • erinschrode

Prayers for Kobe and Gigi

Life is so unbelievably precious. Tell those you love that you love them. Live every moment fully. Craft an existence of meaning, joy and impact. Make peace where it is needed. Spend time with people you care about. Treasure the gift of the present. Nothing is promised. 🙏🏾

Kobe Bryant. Unreal. What a tragic, massive and sudden loss — a sports legend with unrivaled talent, pure drive, intense commitment and admirable work ethic; a creative, innovative and generous cultural force for his Los Angeles community, our nation and all humanity; a friend and mentor to countless people who absolutely treasure the man; a beloved and ever-loving 41-year-old husband and father of four. My heart is with his wife and life partner of over twenty years, Vanessa, and their young daughters who will now grow up without the daddy they adored and who taught them with such patience and presence. The recent video clip of Kobe courtside explaining the intricacies of basketball to his daughter brought me to tears then and again now — especially upon hearing that his 13-year-old Gigi died today, onboard the helicopter alongside her dad en route to her game, as she too embraced and excelled in the sport, another parent and student player, and the pilot, five beautiful souls gone far too soon.

I was in kindergarten when Kobe debuted in the NBA at age eighteen — and I thought he was the best looking man I’d ever laid eyes on, plus he was raised in Philly, the city both of my parents proudly hail from! I was hooked. And his passion, vision, intellect, dedication and Mamba mentality on and off the court have continued to wow me for decades. He loved the feel of the ball, the sound it made, the game as a whole, the craft to which dedicated his entire life — and it loved him right back, as did we all.His final tweet just last night speaks volumes, giving respect and praise to his brother Lebron James for continuing to move the game forward. In Lebron’s interview last night after his own record-breaking game, knowing not the sadness that today would hold, he praised the power of Kobe’s influence and underscored just how much he admired the superstar for how he played, in a state of disbelief about being a Laker IN Philadelphia compared to one of the all-time greats — all-star, NBA champion, MVP, Olympic gold medalist, phenom. Kobe transcended sport, culture, geography, eras — and the shocking death of this icon is hitting hard, not only for me, but for millions around the globe, fellow players and friends, fans and non-fans, girls and boys, young and old, here and there.

May we all seek to embody his words and vibrant inspiration to be the best in whatever we may want to do: “Live today to inspire tomorrow.”What a life. What a world. What a moment. I am praying for Kobe’s loved ones. I am sending all my love to you. And I am now going to spend some quality, irreplaceable time with those who I love.

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