Local students remember Kobe Bryant as one of the greatest basketball players

UIW students say Kobe Bryant was big part of their childhood

San Antonio – Many students at the University of the Incarnate Word said on Monday that they have a lot of respect for NBA legend Kobe Bryant and remember watching him play.

“Since I’m a ’90s baby, I’ve watched Kobe over the years, and as a Spurs fan, it was always difficult because it was always a challenge,” UIW student Jacob Hernandez said. “I’ve always respected Kobe’s game. He was definitely one of my favorite players, too. It was fun watching him as I grew up. (His death) was sudden, and and it was a bomb dropped on everybody whenever we heard the news.”

UIW graduate student Charles Moreno is still playing basketball today, but he said as a young basketball player, he looked up to Kobe Bryant as “one of the greats” on the court, as well as off the court.

“He taught me -- as well as generations of players, even people in general -- not just in basketball, to strive for greatness,” said Moreno. “(Kobe Bryant, Micheal Jordan) and Lebron (James), they are great in their own aspects. Plus, they are all great human beings, as well.”

A common theme throughout the campus on Monday was disbelief.

When the news of Bryant’s death spread on Sunday, many students said they initially thought it was a false report, and they are just devastated knowing that the basketball great and his 13-year-old daughter are gone.

“Just hurt for his wife, losing her kid and her husband at the same time -- all the other people, too,” said Emily Parkhurst, a UIW student. “It was a hard thing.”

About the Authors:

Stephanie Serna is a weekday anchor on Good Morning San Antonio and GMSA at 9 a.m. She joined the KSAT 12 News team in November 2009 as a general assignments reporter.