Kobe Bryant remembered by those playing pickup basketball across Baton Rouge Monday

Baton Rouge community reacts to death of Kobe Bryant

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The news of Kobe Bryant’s death is hitting close to home for basketball fans around the globe, and in Baton Rouge.

WAFB went to various parks and playgrounds to see what some will remember most about the “Black Mamba.”

The sound of a basketball hitting the pavement can be therapeutic for some, and that swoosh you hear when the ball goes through the net is priceless.

"Every time we'd shoot a shot or a fade-away or something, it was Kobe," said Zach Bird, a basketball fan.

The basketball community is in mourning with the loss of one of the greatest people to ever play the sport.

"You'd never expect someone that had that much of an impact to just not be there anymore," said Bird.

That athlete is Kobe “Bean” Bryant.

“We’d crumple up a paper ball and throw it in the basket. We weren’t playing basketball, we were in school,” said Tim Brocato, another basketball fan.

A lot of people say they won’t just remember Bryant as a great basketball player, but also as someone who had a great work ethic and a desire to succeed.

"He was the most talented, but he still worked harder than anyone else. Kind of gives anyone a little bit of inspiration to play, do something," said Brocato.

"Just the helplessness that Kobe may have felt, being with his daughter, knowing that he couldn't do anything about what was happening," said Darnell Sylve, a basketball coach.

Sylve has been coaching and training young athletes for more than a decade now and admired Bryant for many reasons.

"Hard work through adversity, perseverance, I think that's what he represented," said Sylve.

These folks have fond memories of Kobe.

"Kobe Bryant's going to go down as the Black Mamba. He was one of the best to ever play," said Brocato.

“If you have Kobe’s work ethic, you apply that to any part of life, you’re going to succeed the way he did, and I think that was his message, more than anything,” said Sylve.

To read more about how LSU Basketball players are remembering Bryant, click here.

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