This Will Be A Difficult Week

When I wrote my post last week about the impact and influence we have on other people, it was inspired by the recent passing of a man, a former basketball coach who worked with my father. His influence and impact on the game, and on so many people, is immeasurable, and so much of what I know was learned by coaches who learned from him – about the game and about life. The funeral was yesterday, so I knew this week would be difficult regardless. And then I heard about Kobe.

kobe and gianna
Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna (via Getty Images)

My family loves the game of basketball. I’ve played since I was 2 years old. All of my siblings played, most of them through high school and one in college. My dad played college ball and has been coaching in one form or another since he was 20 years old. We follow hoops in plenty of ways, but the NBA is our favorite league to watch and talk about. And if you’re a person in your late 20s/early 30s, Kobe was the guy you talked about. He was THE guy. Whether he was your favorite or your friend’s favorite, it didn’t matter. You want to talk about influence and impact? He was everywhere. Some of my friends emulated him in every way possible. There’s no understating his impact on my generation of players. Which makes it hurt in a unique way.

So I was sad, I am sad, and I will continue to be sad. Process how you need to process, and grieve how you need to grieve, and I wish everyone good luck this week. Hug who you need to hug, talk to the people you need to talk to. I wish I had more to say about this, but the words just aren’t there right now (but I do like what Jay Williams said). But this is a fact: the nine people whose lives were taken Sunday morning – these people made an impact. And their lives will continue to impact other lives for a very long time.

RIP John Altobelli

RIP Keri Altobelli

RIP Alyssa Altobelli

RIP Sarah Chester

RIP Payton Chester

RIP Ara Zobayan

RIP Christina Mauser

RIP Gianna Bryant

RIP Kobe Bryant

Image via CBS Los Angeles

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