Kobe Bryant’s Protégé Sabrina Ionescu Scored Historical Points for the Late NBA Player after Speaking at His Memorial
Mere hours after her emotional speech at Kobe Bryant's memorial at the Staples Center on Monday, his mentee Sabrina Ionescu made basketball history in his honor.
Sabrina secured her name in college basketball history on Monday night during the face-off between the Stanford Cardinals and the Oregon Ducks.
AN IMPRESSIVE ACCOMPLISHMENT
Having spoken at her mentor, Koby Bryant's memorial service only hours earlier, Sabrina reached the milestones of 1,000 rebounds, 1,000 assists, and 2,000 points this season - the only college basketball athlete ever to achieve this, male or female.
The 22-year-old's accomplishment comes after an emotional day, and she felt physically ill before the game, which prevented her from warming up with the team for a game ultimately won by the Oregan Ducks.
HER TRIBUTE TO KOBE
During a quick talk with ESPN after the game, Sabrina dedicated the achievement to her late mentor Kobe and said:
“That one was for him. I can’t really put it into words. He’s looking down and really proud of me and just really happy for this moment with my team.”
Sabrina featured as one of seven speakers during Kobe and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant's emotional memorial service and spoke in admiration of them both.
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I miss you guys more than I could ever put into words 💔 Kobe, thank you for being a source of light in the midst of darkness.You were and always will be my sanctuary. You brought me the peace and guidance that I had been searching, and praying so long for. You were my mentor, idol, inspiration, and close friend. A part of me was lost Sunday, a void that can never be filled, because you are one of one. You took me under your wing and believed in me more than I believed in myself. I only have one choice. To live out your legacy. 🐍 You will forever live through me, and be watching over me every step of the way, because you have the best seat in the house. I can still hear you telling me, “Sab, real sharpness comes without effort,” and that’s a voice I will never forget. Love you boss. Always. Gigi, Alyssa and Pay Pay- Never stop shining your light! I was blessed to have been apart of your lives and to inspire you, but now you inspire me. Keep working on those fade away jumpers up in heaven. RIP little mambas❤️🐍 I pray for everyone who lost a loved one on Sunday, may God heal your broken hearts🙏🏼 Legends never die! #mambamentality🐍
SABINA'S MEMORIAL SPEECH
Kobe had taken Sabrina under his wing, he taught her the tricks for maximum power and achieving the right angle, he saw the future of the sport in her, just as Kobe had with his daughter Gianna.
"His vision for me was way bigger than my own. More importantly, he didn't just show up in my life and leave -- he stayed."
VANESSA BRYANT'S MEMORIAL SPEECH
The passing of Kobe and Gianna leaves behind his wife Vanessa Bryant, and their other three girls Natalia, Bianka, and 7-month-old Capri, and friends and family, surrounded them during the memorial service in support.
When Vanessa spoke a few words in memory of her daughter and husband, she reportedly struggled to keep her composure.
Overwhelmed with emotion, Vanessa said that Gianna was one of her "very best friends," someone that had always been a "gentle soul."
When it came to her "soul mate," Vanessa added that Kobe was the "most amazing husband," that she couldn't express in words how much he loved her. The man she loved with her "whole being."
OTHER FAMILY AT THE MEMORIAL SERVICE
Vanessa attended the public memorial with Kobe's parents Pam and Joe Bryant, and also the basketball legend's sisters, Sharia Washington and Shaya Tabb.
Kobe's parents didn't speak during the memorial service, and neither did his sisters. Shaya and Sharia released a short statement on behalf of the family shortly after the fatal helicopter crash and since brought the MambaOnThree organization to life.
Funds raised by the organization is in support of the families of the other seven victims, as well as the Mambacita Sports Foundation.