The Mackay Basketball community mourned the death of Kobe Bryant while finishing the last day of the Australia Day Carnival at the Mackay Multi-Sport Stadium.
The Mackay Basketball community mourned the death of Kobe Bryant while finishing the last day of the Australia Day Carnival at the Mackay Multi-Sport Stadium.

Basketballers mourn the loss of an all-time great

SHOCK and disbelief gripped the world sporting community today when one of basketball’s all-time greats died in a helicopter crash.

When news spread that Kobe Bryant and eight others, including his teenage daughter, had died in a crash, Mackay’s basketball community mourned with the world.

Meteors coach Joel Khalu believed that while Bryant’s legacy was bigger than life, his greatest impact on the game was yet to come.

“One thing Kobe was trying to do in his retirement was advocate for women’s sport (especially) with his daughters being involved,” he said.

“I think he was on the cusp of revolutionising how women’s sport was viewed.

QBL Mackay Meteors coach Joel Khalu said Kobe Bryant was one of the most influential players in his life.
QBL Mackay Meteors coach Joel Khalu said Kobe Bryant was one of the most influential players in his life.

“One of the last things he came out and said was that some of the WNBA could play in the NBA right now.”

Having found success as a player and coach, Khalu saw first-hand how the NBA legend impacted generations of players.

“As a player he was the guy I looked up to, someone I tried to emulate,” he said.

Khalu said he spent countless hours in an empty stadium trying to replicate a “Kobe move”.

“While most of us never knew him, you really feel like you did just because of how he played and how he conducted himself,” he said.

Former NBL player and last year’s Meteors captain Chris Cedar said he was one of the millions to idolise Bryant.

“It’s one of those things you struggle to believe at first,” he said.

“Just the other day he was celebrating LeBron James taking over him on the point leaders.

“The whole world knew who he was, and it will take time for the basketball world to heal.”

Cedar said Bryant’s famous mamba mentality was something the world could still benefit from.

Chris Cedar battled with the news of Kobe Bryant’s death this morning.
Chris Cedar battled with the news of Kobe Bryant’s death this morning.

“He’s one of those guys that you always look to; even though he was (playing) in his late 30s he was still the one pushing those young guys out there,” Cedar said.

“I think that’s one of the mentalities that needs to be installed not only in sport but in the real world.”


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