ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — Kobe Bryant grew up on the East Coast. He played ball on the West Coast, but he had the respect of many area basketball fans and coaches here in the Midwest.
Some Rockford basketball coaches shared Monday some of the impressions Bryant made on them and the things they admired about him.
“Just his mentality,” said Rock Valley College women’s basketball coach Daryll Watkins. “The way he went about things. The fire to always work hard. Always outwork everyone.”
“He wanted to win,” said Jefferson boys basketball coach John Rossato. “Whatever he had to do to win he did.”
“I respect Kobe as a father-figure,” said Auburn High School girls basketball coach Jason McClelland. “He really, after his whole tremendous thing with the allegations, he really switched gears and matured himself and was able to become a father and a better husband.”
“We’ll all remember him. He’s left quite a legacy from the game of basketball,” said Auburn boys basketball coach Bryan Ott. “It just feels like he had an awful lot more to give.”