Remembering Black Mamba: Kobe Bryant Holds Hoops Clinic For 150 Girls

Kobe Bryant lived in a household with four women. Vanessa, his wife of 18 years and three beautiful daughters, ranging in age from 3 to 16.

He values athletic achievement because it inspires and enhances confidence in young girls. He also understands how the resources that girl athletes are provided often pale in comparison to the structure and training that is set up for boys.

That’s why Kobe devotes so much of his time to developing future WNBA stars.

Last week, in celebration of Women’s History Month, the five-time NBA champion, father, author and Academy Award winner  hosted more than 150 local Los Angeles girls at his newly constructed 100,000 square foot MAMBA Sports Academy for a basketball clinic and life skills development session as part of the NBA and WNBA Her Time To Play program.

Her Time To Play, launched in October 2018, inspires girls ages 7-14 to learn and play basketball in a positive and healthy way, and increase opportunities for women in coaching and athletic leadership. The program provides hundreds of youth organizations with a free basketball curriculum and life-skills lessons developed specifically for young women.

The event began  with 40 minutes of on-court developmental drills including dribbling, passing, shooting and defense led by Bryant and Los Angeles Sparks clinicians.

Then there was an all-star  panel discussion moderated by ESPN’s Michelle Beadle and featuring Bryant, Cappie Pondexter (Two-time WNBA Champion), Danita Johnson (Los Angeles Sparks Team President and COO) and Keisha Nix (Executive Director, Los Angeles Lakers Youth Foundation).

The panelists discussed strategies for overcoming adversity and self-doubt to achieve one’s goals and the specific challenges that girls and women face in sports. The event closed with a Q&A for the youth participants.

It was another great social endeavor by Kobe, who has seemingly devoted part of his retirement to enhancing young women’s experiences in sports and providing them a blueprint for developing a Mamba Mentality.

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