Orange County and MacArthur remember Kobe Bryant on August 24

8/24 has become an official Orange County day of remembrance for NBA legend Kobe Bryant.

August 24 has become a day to celebrate the life and accomplishments of former Lakers star Kobe Bryant.  Los Angeles County had officially recognized 8/24 in 2016, and following his death, Orange County has also now declared 8/24 to be Kobe Bryant Day.

This date was chosen because it is the day after his birthday, and these numbers are the jersey number that he used during his career in the NBA. Kobe began his career wearing the number 8 jersey and then switched to the number 24.  

People all over Southern California still feel connected to Bryant, including MacArthur students and staff.  “He was the star player of the Lakers, and as Lakers fans, not just me but, many people looked up to him as inspiration,” said eighth-grader Roberto Mendoza.

On the morning of January 26, 2020, Kobe Bryant and seven others passed away in a helicopter crash.  At 9:45 am PT at Calabasas, Kobe, Gianna Bryant, Payton Chester, Sarah Chester, Alyssa Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, John Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Ara Zobayan were on a way to a basketball game until the helicopter crashed into a hillside.

Natalie Villegas, eighth grade, said, “I was shocked.  It didn’t feel real.”

On 8/24, Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s widow, paid a visit to his grave with flowers. Some of the fans visited the front of his house and left flowers, basketballs, and other remembrances.  Also, the Lakers played that day with Kobe jerseys, which he helped design. In memories of Kobe, Los Angeles just announced that they are naming a street after him.  Kobe’s picture will also be placed on the cover of 2K21, the official NBA video game.   

Kobe Bryant’s legacy became a gift on the court after 20 year playing with the Lakers. He gave Laker’s fans five championships. He built friendships with Micheal Jordan, Shaquille O´Neal, and Pau Gasol.  

“He was passionate about his career and it made me more serious about soccer – to train harder,” said eighth-grader Paulina Lechuga said,