Kobe Bryant’s sports academy retires ‘Mamba’ nickname

Washington, May 13 (IANS) The sports academy previously co-owned by late basketball legend Kobe Bryant in Southern California has retired the “Mamba” nickname and rebranded itself nearly four months after the five-time NBA champion's death.

Kobe and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were among the nine people killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas on January 26.

“Like tens of millions of fans around the globe, Sports Academy's world drastically changed on January 26, 2020,” the Thousand Oaks-based facility said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Today, with respect for an unparalleled legacy, the academy will retire the “Mamba” in the Mamba Sports Academy name—to raise it to the rafters, where it belongs.

“The changing of the name from Mamba Sports Academy to Sports Academy, the original name from 2016, is not a decision we came to lightly or on our own. It was a mutual agreement made in accordance with the wishes of his estate,” it added.

The academy was founded in 2016 and Bryant, who spent 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers and helped the franchise win five NBA championships, joined it in 2018.

Bryant finished his playing career as the Lakers' all-time leading points scorer, and is fourth on the NBA's all-time list with 33,643 points. He won gold for the US at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

Bryant also has an Academy Award to his name for his animated short film “Dear Basketball” in 2018.



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