LOWER MERION TOWNSHIP, MONTGOMERY COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) On Sunday, the world was shocked by the news that Pennsylvania native, and basketball legend, Kobe Bryant, was one of nine people who had died in a helicopter crash 30 miles outside of downtown Los Angeles.
Closer to home, a memorial continues to build outside of Lower Merion High School, Bryant’s alma mater. Eyewitness News was at Lower Merion today, as fans laid flowers, magazines, and basketballs outside of the school’s aptly named Bryant Gymnasium. Lower Merion students even came to school dressed in black as a symbol of mourning and respect.
Students and alumni came together in the afternoon for a press conference to address the community’s tremendous loss. Each person shared a memory of Kobe, and expressed how much he meant to the community, and the game of basketball.
“Someone as big as Kobe who represents Lower Merion all across the world… People don’t really know how to react right now,” Lower Merion basketball player, James Simples III, told Eyewitness News.
Students and alumni say that Bryant frequently visited the school, particularly to chat with, and encourage the basketball teams.
“You would see him in the hallways when he’d be in town,” said Lower Merion Basketball alum, Ryan Brooks. “He’d pull us out of classrooms, especially the basketball team, and talk to us individually. Those private conversations, I hold very close”
“He would come back, and sit on our bench, and cheer us on,” said Steeve Meehan, also a Lower Merion Basketball alum.
Tributes continue to pour in as the school, and the community remember the man who, even after his passing, continues to inspire them to dream big.