HARTFORD- The shock wave of Kobe Bryant’s death, as well as his daughter Gianna and seven others, felt across the country, including right here in Connecticut.
Basketball fans gathered outside the XL Center in Hartford before the UCONN vs. Team USA game Monday night, reflecting on the mark Kobe Bryant left on the game of basketball.
Shocked, heartbroken and disbelief, three words that describe how many people felt after news broke of NBA All-star Kobe Bryant’s death on Sunday-at just 41-years-old.
In Hartford, a pre-party was held along Pratt Street before the Women’s UCONN basketball game and those we spoke to said they are devastated.
“I grew up watching him, I think he had that mentality on and off the court you can be a leader,” Jennifer Barber said.
“Everybody knows who Kobe Bryant is, so it was definitely a big shock to the whole world, I think regardless if you are a fan of his or a fan of basketball,” said Heather Goglia.
Bryant, who had a staggering twenty-year career with the LA Lakers, shared his love for the game with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, who hung out with the UCONN Women’s Basketball Team back in 2017.
It's a feeling many fathers can relate too, such as Marco López, who came to watch the Huskies game with his twin daughters.
“That’s a bond that’s hard to explain, but basketball really brings us together, my daughters and I, of course, when I heard the news, I take a minute to stop and think about the relationship that we have,” Lopez said.
Young or old, no matter the background, people said they saw Kobe as a symbol that hard work pays off.
“Everybody knew he was one of the most hardest working basketball players in the world, he was an inspiration to us all,” Max Meether said.