NEW HANOVER COUNTY (WWAY) — More than 24 hours after the tragic death of former NBA Lakers Basketball All-Star Kobe Bryant, many are still in shock.
People have been honoring him in different ways.
Whether it be through games of pick-up or checking local sports stores for Kobe Bryant’s merchandise, many are doing their best to cope with the tragedy.
9-year-old Brayden Kidd fought back tears as he expressed how he felt when he first heard the news just moments before his basketball game.
“I usually get excited when I go to my basketball games, but when I heard Kobe died, I just wasn’t excited anymore,” Kidd said.
9-year-old Laini Vereen was also saddened by the news.
Her appreciation for Bryant and his support for girls in basketball, like his own 13-year-old daughter GiGi who also died in the helicopter crash, has given her motivation to be the best version of herself both on and off the court.
“We’re all equal. Like we can both do it. We have to believe in ourselves and not give up,” Vereen said.
People have also been snapping up merchandise. Bryant’s jerseys and shoe lines started selling out across the U.S. Sunday.
The same is happening here with people showing their interest in all things Kobe.
Boseman’s Sporting Goods Manager Mike Langston says, “He changed the sneaker industry, especially with some designs and renovations. He changed music, he changed business, it was a lot of things like overall life. I think it was bigger than basketball for him.”
Langston says even though Kobe’s been a big seller for years, since he had been retired awhile, it is even more challenging to find his gear.
“I’ve checked the warehouse this morning, and I’ve also checked the Mitchell & Ness, which does some throwback stuff in there, and there is no Kobe Bryant stuff there, so if you find any, and it’s something that you’re looking for, grab it.”
If you want to pay tribute to Bryant, you will be able to February 7th when Nike unveils a new tribute shoe.