The shocking death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna in a helicopter crash on Sunday brought actress Tamera Mowry to tears during Monday’s episode of “The Real.”
She was overcome with emotion while recalling meeting Bryant for the first time when they were both teenagers. Mowry said he had a guest role on “Sister, Sister” and she was so impressed with how seriously he took it.
“I met Kobe when we were both the same age, 19. I remember looking at him. He was so tall. He just started playing for the Lakers and I didn’t know what to expect because you think, ‘This athlete, he came out of high school and now he’s this big shot.’ But, I’ll never forget his humility. I’ll never forget his kindness,” she said.
“He was so nervous and he had like one or two lines, but I remember, I was like, ‘Dang, he’s so focused,’ Mowry recalled. “And my heart just goes out to all the families who have lost their loved ones.”
— The Real (@TheRealDaytime) January 27, 2020
“She lost two people,” Mowry said of Bryant’s wife Vanessa. “She has to grieve her husband and her daughter. It just breaks my heart and shows me that life is fragile. Life is short and I know we say that, but we have to really work hard to stay in the present moment.
“This is all we got. This moment right here,” the actress added, “Tell your loves ones that you love them.”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver released a statement on behalf of the league on Sunday:
“The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning. He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary: five NBA championships, an NBA MVP award, 18 NBA All-Star selections, and two Olympic gold medals.”
But he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability. He was generous with the wisdom he acquired and saw it as his mission to share it with future generations of players, taking special delight in passing down his love of the game to Gianna. We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Vanessa, and their family, the Lakers organization and the entire sports world.”