A number of current and former Dayton Flyers and Wright State Raiders basketball players and coaches reacted to the news of Kobe Bryant’s death with sadness and disbelief.
Bryant, 41, died in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning in California. Eight others died in the crash, including Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
On Instagram, Dayton forward Obi Toppin wrote, “Words can’t even describe what’s going through people’s heads right now. This man was a great role model for everyone (and) people looked up to him. This is just crazy.”
Dayton guard Rodney Chatman wrote on Instagram, “My role model. My Goat (Greatest of All Time). RIP Black Mamba.”
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Former Wright State guard Joe Thomasson Jr. wrote, “It feels like I lost my best friend.”
Former Wright State forward A.J. Pacher wrote on Twitter, “Kobe’s death just hits different for people around my age. I think it’s because we grew up in the era of Kobe. We were able to watch his whole career, and understand his greatness. With Mike or other people you saw games, but you had to go back and watch once you really knew the game. With Kobe you got to enjoy it live and for the majority of our lives. His work ethic and approach to the game will never compare to anyone else. RIP Bean, and prayers to his family.”
Former Dayton guard Scoochie Smith wrote on Twitter, “Tell me, why the legends always gotta die quick?”
Former Dayton guard Vee Sanford wrote on Instagram, “Blessed that I had a chance to meet (you),” in regard to Bryant. On Twitter, Sanford described it as one of the saddest days of his life and also wrote, “Life on earth our time is limited, unexpected, precious. To take someone or something for granted is what we all tend to do. Every moment shall pass good or bad in your life. So make the best of it. Because it’s not promised.”