DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – University of Dayton men’s basketball coach Anthony Grant is remembering Kobe Bryant. Grant knew Kobe ever since he was a teen phenom playing at national recruiting camps.
As an NBA assistant coach at the end of Bryant’s career, Grant saw Kobe operate at the highest level. He says Bryant’s work ethic extended beyond basketball. “For anybody that aspires to be great at what they do, he was a guy that spoke it, that lived it, and his legacy will live on.”
Grant was an assistant coach at the University of Florida when he first learned of Kobe Bryant. The then-teenager spurred talk that he could potentially go pro right out of high school. Grant’s first year as an assistant for the Oklahoma City Thunder was Bryant’s final year in the league. One thing stood out, and it wasn’t Kobe’s ability: “Not what he was as a player at the end of his career, but the reverence that other great players had towards him.”
Grant remembers Kobe’s competitiveness, but says his legacy is his work ethic and desire to teach. “His willingness to help so many people, whether it was young guys in the NBA, women’s basketball players in college or the WNBA, in high school, his willingness to talk to young people and mentor young people. He wanted to give back and make a difference because of the experiences and blessings that he had.”
The seventh-ranked Flyers are preparing to take on Duquesne Wednesday, but Grant says they’ll take time during practice to talk about losing a legend. “I have to talk to our team today because a lot of our guys grew up idolizing Kobe, and what he stood for, and who he was. So we’ll have some conversations today.”
Superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were on Grant’s Oklahoma City team during Kobe’s final season. He says what sticks with him now is the reverence they had for Kobe.
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