Bethel Twp. home lights up for late Lakers legend

Local News

BETHEL TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WDTN) — Shock waves from Kobe Bryant’s death are being felt all around the nation, including in the Miami Valley.

“He’s a big part of my childhood and my life,” admits father and Bethel Township resident Kris Holden who was stunned by the loss. “The Mamba mentality is such a strong thing.”

The unexpected death hit an extra nerve for him.

“To hear about a father passing with his daughter and leaving behind a wife and three children will break anybody’s heart,” says Holden.

Holden grew up watching the NBA star in his prime.

“I watched the guy for 20 years on TV. He didn’t know me. But I felt like I did know him,” says Holden.

After hearing the news, Holden changed all of the light bulbs outside of his house to pay tribute to one of his idols. His Sunset Maple Drive home glows purple and gold to honor the basketball shooting guard.

“It’s just a small little thing I could do to show my respect for such an awesome person,” shrugs Holden.

The small town display joins big time landmarks across the country lit up for the basketball great.

“I would never have thought that a celebrity passing would make me cry or make me get emotional make me get so passionate,” states Holden.

But those emotions continue to course through him.

“Me and the whole family — We’re all in Lakers gear today,” says Holden. “Just Saturday my kids had their first basketball game of the year, and my daughter is 7. My son is 4. He had 8 points. She had 6 points. When they fuss about not getting the ball or something small, it all goes back to the Mamba mentality. That’s just something I try to instill in them as athletes.”

Holden’s salute while small is his way of remembering the Lakers legend and the lessons he has learned from him.

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