Kobe Bryant's final message to West Philadelphia students: 'Don't be afraid to dream'

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Monday, January 27, 2020
Kobe Bryant speaks to students in West Philadelphia
NBA legend and former Lakers star Kobe Bryant took the stage at Andrew Hamilton School in West Philadelphia on March 21, 2019.

PHILADELPHIA -- NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash on a steep hillside in dense morning fog in Southern California on Sunday, his sudden death at age 41 touching off an outpouring of grief for a star whose celebrity transcended basketball.

The chopper went down in Calabasas, about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Authorities said that nine people were aboard the helicopter and presumed dead.

RELATED: Kobe Bryant, daughter, 7 others killed in helicopter crash in California

In March 2019, Bryant stopped in West Philadelphia to speak to students at Andrew Hamilton School.

Bryant talked about how hard it was moving from Italy, where his dad played professional basketball, to Philadelphia during his 8th-grade year.

"I wore weird stuff. I had a weird haircut. I don't know what the heck was going on right, so the hardest part for me was fitting in," he said.

Bryant said he was focusing on being a dad and teaching the next generation.

"It's moving from that hero's journey to be more of a mentor from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi," he said.

He said his message to students is to challenge your fears.

"That is the most powerful message within this book is that true strength comes from your vulnerability, you don't hide from being vulnerable that is your greatest source of strength and magic you have within you," he said. "Don't be afraid to dream."