January 26th, 2020 was a devastating day for not only the sports industry but also for the whole world. It had never crossed my mind that one day, I was going to write a blog about the death of the basketball legend, one of my biggest inspirations, Kobe Bryant. To me, basketball was my whole entire childhood.
Middle schools in China are quite different from schools here in America. The
whole school had to go to school at 7 am to do a morning run, followed by morning
readings. Other than the fun classes like gym, art, and choir, we take English, History, Physics, Chemistry, multiple Mandarin and Math classes throughout the day. Usually, the day
ends at around 7:30 pm.
Starting then, my friends and I are all about the NBA, especially the Lakers and Heat Big 3. Due to the heavy course load, we did not have time to watch a full game like I do every day now. We were obsessed with a popular thing back then, "live broadcast in illustration and text." Because of the time difference, games for us are early in the morning. We would get the message as a text form play by play and whisper about it in class. Even though our teachers knew we were doing this, It did not affect our grade a bit. Obsession is an understatement of our passion for the NBA. It was the only sweetness in the tiring days.
My friends and I would go to an outdoor college court to play basketball on Sundays -- the only day of the week that we do not have class. We would yell out “Kobe,” “LeBron,” and “Wade” whenever we made a silly shot that we thought was awesome. Ever since then, I had always dreamt to go to a different place to pursue my baller dream. I knew that this is more than just a dream to me. Even though I was never great at playing basketball, I am proud to say that after all these years, step by step, I am finally on the path to being closer to my basketball dream.
The picture above was taken at the Lakers-Sixers game, it is crazy that we applauded LBJ (passing Kobe in the all-time leader board) in Kobe’s hometown and celebrated the life of Mamba here the night after.
Often times, people say that sport is a business or an intangible product that is consumed at the same time that is being produced. I cannot say that I 100% agree with the concept. In my world, sport is a lifestyle. It marks the most precious memories and drives me to go further in life. Legends like Kobe Bryant is not only a role model, he also represents the value we are driven by and the childhood memories that I will cherish in my lifetime.
To Mamba, thank you for leading me through my hardest days, teaching me that dreams do come true if you put into your full effort, and giving me a life-long passion. Hope there is basketball in heaven.
Much love, Cindy Chen and friends
This blog post was written by Cindy Chen, Treasurer.