Role Models: Remembering Kobe Bryant

Role Models: Remembering Kobe Bryant

The unexpected death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant sent shockwaves through the world. Not only was Bryant one of the top athletes of our time, he was an exceptional role model for people of all ages across the globe.

Remembering Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant was a husband, father, mentor, coach, entrepreneur, and leader. Known for his strong work ethic, Bryant was a role model on and off the basketball court. Bryant always made sure to acknowledge his own role models and the people he learned from throughout his life. He also paid it forward as a mentor for countless others.

Looking back on Bryant’s life and the high standard of excellence he set for others to follow is a great way to get young people talking about what it means to be an extraordinary citizen and role model.

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Our expert researchers have vetted the most current content to give you easy answers about the basics. Here’s what you need to know right now:

  • At age 41, Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven other people were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on January 26, 2020.
  • Bryant started playing for the National Basketball Association (NBA) straight out of high school in 1996. At just 18 years old, Bryant was the youngest NBA player at the time.
  • Bryant played his entire professional basketball career with the L.A. Lakers. He played 20 seasons, won 5 championship titles, and was named an all-star 18 times.
  • He became a spokesperson for Nike in 2003. He also had endorsement deals with many other brands, such as McDonald's, Sprite, Nintendo, and Turkish Airlines.
  • In 2011, Bryant and his wife Vanessa created The Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation in support of homeless youth. He also served as a national ambassador for After-School All-Stars and met with more than 100 sick kids through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
  • In 2018, Bryant won an Academy Award for an animated short film, called Dear Basketball, that he wrote and narrated.

Featured in the News

Now that you know the facts about Kobe Bryant, check out these fascinating human interest stories from around the world.

Read: What Students Can Learn from Kobe Bryant’s Exceptional Work Ethic

Read: Honor Kobe Bryant's legacy through the charities he supported

Read: What Students Are Saying About What Kobe Bryant’s Death Means to Them

Watch: Kobe Bryant’s Final Interview with L.A. Times Columnist Arash Markazi

WatchKobe Bryant the business man: More than just an NBA star

Conversation Starters Banner

Depending on the ages of your students and the topics you teach, role models offer a wide variety of interesting classroom discussion ideas.

General discussions about hot topics and current affairs related to Kobe Bryant.

  • How did Kobe Byrant teach others to be better people through the way he lived his life?
  • Why was Kobe Bryant a hero to so many people?
  • What were some of Kobe Bryant’s main accomplishments? Why do they matter?

Lead-in for discussions about relevant topics related to role models and extraordinary citizens.

  • What makes a person a role model or extraordinary citizen?
  • Who are your role models? Why?
  • How does being a responsible and caring citizen benefit your life, your community, and the world?

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Check out these links to stay up to date and informed about Kobe Bryant’s legacy.

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 Classroom Topics

  • Extraordinary citizens and role models.
  • Acts of kindness to positively impact the world (benefit their own lives and the lives of others).
  • Teach others to be better people by the way they lead their lives.

NBA Finals

Championship Games - The NBA Finals (Grade 5)

National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies - Standard 5: Individuals, Groups, and Institutions - Institutions are the formal and informal political, economic. And social organizations that help us carry out, organize, and manage our daily affairs.


What I Value - Sportsmanship (Grade 2)

National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies - Standard 10: Civic Ideals and Practices - Learning how to apply civic ideals as part of citizen action is essential to the exercise of democratic freedoms and the pursuit of the common good.