Kobe Bryant Mourned In Italy, Where He Spent Part Of Childhood
By Parker Diakite
If one thing is clear about the death of Kobe Bryant it’s that his reach was far bigger than basketball.
Mourners, including fans, professional athletes, and even political leaders from all over the world have reacted to the shocking news of the death of the superstar and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna “Gigi” with condolences and tributes.
In Melbourne at the Australian Open, tennis was secondary as players and coaches reflected on the news.
“It’s a huge loss for the world,“ said Wimbledon champion Simona Halep.
Meanwhile, in Paris, Brazilian soccer star Neymar Jr. of Paris Saint Germain paid tribute to Kobe from France. After scoring his second goal for PSG against Lille, he held up the number “24” with his fingers.
Athletes all over the world are paying their respects to Kobe. Neymar is among them. pic.twitter.com/dUda10YBCo— Bobby Trosset (@BobbyWBAL) January 26, 2020
But one place, in particular, that is feeling the pain on a personal level outside of the United States where the basketball star resided before his death is in Italy.
Located in northern Italy is the small town of Reggio Emilia where Bryant grew up after his father, Joe, relocated his family after retiring from the NBA, the Los Angeles Times reports.
It was the youth team of Pallacanestro Reggiana where his greatness began.
“Kobe Bryant grew up here and was, for all of us, a ‘Reggiano,’” wrote the town’s mayor, Luca Vecchi, on Facebook. “Today he left us — a basketball legend that the whole town will remember forever with affection and respect.”
“Ciao Kobe,” he continued.
During a return visit to Reggio Emilia back in 2016, Bryant showed off the Italian language skills he learned as a youth. In an interview with the local newspaper Il Resto del Carlino, he stated, “my story started in this city.” He added, “would you believe that one of the best players in the NBA could grow up here? There is nowhere further from Los Angeles.”