WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Communities across the world continue to take time to remember the life of basketball legend Kobe Bryant. He along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others died in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles Sunday.
The group was headed to a basketball game in Thousand Oaks, California.
The tragic news has made an impact here in West Lafayette. The Purdue men's basketball team shared their thoughts on the basketball icon.
"As basketball players, we have obviously all looked up to him and watched him play when we were growing up," said Purdue Forward Evan Boudreaux. "It's just really hard to see. Its a really sad day. We obviously have modeled our games and, you know, shot trash paper into the trashcan and yelled 'Kobe!' a million times. It's just really hard to see."
"More than anything, just always had been respected and impressed with how hard he played," said Head Coach Matt Painter.
Never take life for granted����
— Nojel Eastern (@NEblessed_20) January 27, 2020
Back in 2018, Bryant gave the Purdue Men's Basketball Team his new Kobe 1 Protro's to wear. The Boilers said they needed special permission from Kobe to wear the shoes. When asked in 2018, Kobe's response was "#Purdue is balling this year. Of course they can be the first to wear them."
Thanks @kobebryant for the new kicks. It is greatly appreciated.
— Purdue Mens Basketball (@BoilerBall) February 13, 2018
At the Pacers' game in Oregon Sunday night, there was a moment of silence for Bryant before tip off. Tuesday's Lakers' game was postponed.
Kobe Bryant was 41-years-old.