SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - When many people think of Kobe Bryant, they think of championships and accolades. But Bryant’s impact went way beyond basketball, creating an everlasting impression on those who admired him.
"I think that it's a loss that's going to be felt for quite some time,” St. Andrews boys basketball coach Mel Abrams Jr. said.
"When you lose someone like that, someone you grew up watching and aspiring to be it's heavy on your heart,” Habersham YMCA sports and summer camp director Craig Carroll said.
Hearts are still heavy in the local basketball community after losing arguably one of the greatest of all time.
"Kobe to me was a great inspiration in terms of inspiring us to be able to do what we want to do,” Alexus said.
For many local coaches, Bryant helped shape who they are not only as a player but as a coach as well. His work ethic and will to teach the younger generation including his daughter is something that is unmatched.
"What I appreciated about Kobe's basketball career was we kind of got to see him go through phases and stages coming in as a 17 year old and 20 years in the league, watching him kind of navigate through challenges of life which I don't think we get to see sometimes with athletes and so that was one of the things I appreciated; got to see home overcome some adversity,” Abrams Jr. said.
"One of the biggest things that stands out to be about him, was his support of women's basketball with his daughter being definitely a great asset to the basketball world."
Though his physical presence may be gone, his legacy will forever live on. Giving little things like shoes more meaning.
"They mean a lot more now; got his number right there. A lot of inspiration right now. I don't know, really just a loss for words,” Craig said.
Making us appreciate moments in life just a little bit more.
“It makes you look at life differently. It makes you cherish the small things more, just the simple ‘Hey. How you are doing’, text messages from people the ‘I love you’ [messages]. They mean so much more now.”