TYLER, Texas (KETK) – After Kobe Bryant and eight others died in a helicopter crash in California on Sunday, many East Texans are mourning their role model and finding ways to honor his memory.
“It’s somebody who has touched the game and done so much for the game of basketball that you have to be able to remember his accomplishments not only on the court but off the court,” said Cedeno Clark, coach at John Tyler High School.
For the remainder of the basketball season, the John Tyler Lions will have a jersey sitting on the bench at every game to honor their hero and someone who was taken too soon.
“I feel like it’s something that needed to be done. Someone who has done so much for the game like Kobe Bryant has done. You just want to be able to do something to cherish what he’s done for the game,” said Coach Clark.
Even with Kobe gone, Coach Clark hopes to continue his legacy through practices and the Mamba mentality that he was known for.
“His family may not even get to see this, but yet still for me as a basketball guy to another basketball guy, this is the way we want to honor him,” said Coach Clark.