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"She opened my eyes to this passion I didn't know existed" - Kobe Bryant lauds person who helped him find new passion after basketball

After calling it a career in 2016, Bryant pursued storytelling, and he embraced it with the same fervor as basketball
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Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant has grown such a massive fan base, and we can categorize them based on how much they follow the late Los Angeles Lakers legend. Some of them are still up-to-date on the lives of the people Bryant left in this world, and some aren’t that huge of a fan that they don’t know what Black Mamba’s newfound passion was before his tragic death. For those who belong to the latter, Kobe was fond of storytelling at the time.

Discovering another God-given talent

After calling it a career in 2016, Bryant pursued writing, and he embraced it with the same fervor as basketball. For sure, some of you may be wondering if Bryant was also exceptional as a storyteller. He was.

In his last interview with USA Today, days before his untimely demise, Bryant talked about his penchant for writing. According to the five-time NBA champion, the person who motivated him to go all-in on writing was his Lower Merion High School English teacher Jeanne Mastriano.

Mastriano taught English to Bryant during his sophomore and senior years and was also the first person who foresaw a bright future for him in storytelling.

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“She was so good and so passionate about what she was teaching about writing and storytelling,” Bryant shared. “She firmly believed that storytelling could change the world. And she opened my eyes to this passion I didn’t know existed.”

Kobe’s first story

It didn’t take long before Mastriano was proven right about Bryant. Since his final NBA game, Kobe was able to co-author several books, including “The Wizenard Series,” “Legacy of the Queen,” “Epoca: The Tree of Ecrof," and “Geese Are Never Swans.”

However, the very first story he ever composed was neither of the above. Instead, it was a random story inspired by his mom that he recited in front of Mastriano and a group of kindergarten pupils back in high school.

Bryant vividly recalled that the story says, “those clothes formed together to create these monsters that at nighttime dragged the kid from his bed into the depths of despair.”

“We started getting letters from families saying, ‘I don't know what story my kids heard, but their room has never been so clean.’ I was like, ‘Oh man, this is pretty cool’,” he said.

Bryant’s impact on the world is fathomless that if we are to write a book about his basketball legacy alone, it’s hard to tell how many chapters it will have. But the sad part about this whole storytelling thing is that we’ll never see how Kobe the author would’ve panned out.

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