Imagine having the chance to play in a basketball game against Gianna Bryant, the daughter of one of the greatest athletes to ever hit the court. Not only that, but the match would go down right in front of that legend as well.
The Fresno girls’ basketball team Lady Heat were supposed to play at Kobe Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy in the Amateur Athletic Union tournament. However, the game never ended up happening.
They could hardly wait to come face-to-face with the NBA legend who coaches his 13-year-old daughter, also known as "Gigi," and her team.
“We were so excited,” one player told Inside Edition. “We will take a photo with him. We'll have the most fun day of our lives.”
As the Fresno Lady Heat were gearing up for the big match, word came of the deadly helicopter crash. Some of the players of the Lady Heat say they recall feeling shocked, frozen and heartbroken.
“My heart just sunk when I heard that him and his daughter had crashed. I couldn’t wait to play them,” a player of the Lady Heat told Inside Edition.
While the girls mourn the loss of the legend who inspired them to play, they vow to work harder than ever at achieving their hoop dreams in his and his daughter's honor.
“We should be doing it for Kobe,” one player said about her basketball career going for.
“I am going to go hard for Gigi,” another said. “I’m going to go hard for her every time I hit the court.”
“Now when I play I just want this to be dedicated to him and how he changed girls basketball,” said another player from Fresno.