You will likely already have heard that former LA Laker superstar shooting guard Kobe Bryant, often affectionately called The Black Mamba, died in a helicopter crash near LA on Sunday. His daughter, Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant, just 13 years old lost her life in the same crash.
Gianna was the second eldest of Bryant’s four daughters. The youngest, Capri, was born June 2019.
Kobe Bryant was widely known as one of the great basketball players of his generation. But he was also an Oscar-winning filmmaker (for 2017’s Dear Basketball, an animated short based on a story he wrote) and an author. From USA Today:
His first book was a basketball memoir called “The Mamba Mentality: How I Play,” which published in November 2018 with an introduction by Phil Jackson, the former coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. The book entered the USA TODAY Best-Selling Books list at No. 8 and was ranked in the top 150 for eight weeks.
Then in collaboration with author Wesley King, Bryant started a Young Adult book series, called “The Wizenard Series.” The first volume, “Training Camp” published in March 2019 and was ranked No. 56 on USA TODAY’s best-selling books list in its first week. People called the series “an intersection of Harry Potter-esque fantasy and traditional sports.”
The second volume of the series, “Season One” is set to be released March 31. The publisher’s description calls it “a story of strain and sacrifice, supernatural breakthroughs, and supreme dedication to the game.”
Kobe Byrant is survived by his wife of 20 years, Vanessa Laine Bryant, and three daughters: Natalia Diamante Bryant, Bianka Bella Bryant, and Capri Kobe Bryant.