Image Credits: Fisto
As much as anyone, Kobe Bryant helped to popularize basketball around the world, so it was no surprise to see shrines to the NBA and Los Angeles Lakers legend everywhere around the world. [caption id="attachment_22607" align="aligncenter" width="490"] Sreeshankar and his friends paid tribute to late Kobe at his native court in Palakkad[/caption] For a generation of athletes, the shocking death of Kobe Bryant leaves a massive void. Bryant was an inspiration to so many. Count Long Jumper Sreeshankar Murali as feeling as if a part of his athletic world has been ripped from him. Sreeshankar plays different sport, but he never hide his love for basketball. Even so, the inspiration he took from Kobe Bryant remains just as strong.
I never thought I would be writing this, but we are here, and even though I have tears in my eyes and something in my throat, I want to use this opportunity to celebrate you and let the world know how you motivated me to take my hustle to the next level.
Though I am an athlete, basketball is always my first love. Me, my dad, my sister, my cousins, and friends are always into basketball. After entering the higher level in athletics, I don’t get to the chance to play basketball. So, I would always eagerly wait for the rest days to get court to play sometime. We usually play in a broken court. That’s okay, because the love for basketball we have is simply fathomless. Kobe Bryant has influenced me greatly despite being thousands of miles away. I still remember Kobe’s farewell match at Staples Center and getting goosebumps for that brilliant 60-pointer game. Hearing about Kobe’s and Gianna’s tragic death completely shocked us. We were into tears, because basketball and Kobe Bryant meant a lot to us.
Thank you for living an exemplary life: of humility, inspiration; Thank you for teaching me how to be relentless in reaching my goals; Thank you for giving me a childhood that I will never forget and above all, thank you for taking this game into our hearts and you will in our hearts forever. Mamba Forever.[caption id="attachment_22606" align="aligncenter" width="780"] Kobe's iconic jersey number 24 being written on the basketball court, Palakkad[/caption]