By DJ Moore
When I heard the news that Kobe Bryant died, it made me feel like my brother died all over again. I remember being in Chicago for offseason workouts with my girlfriend, now wife, watching TV when I received the news my brother was dead. My phone was on silent, so I didn’t see all the missed calls and text messages. I finally picked up the phone, and the text bubble read, “Your big brother is dead.” Shot in the head at close range at 25 years young. You pause in disbelief because you do not believe that it’s true, and to some extent, I still don’t think it is.
The parallel between Kobe and my brother is they both were very talented at basketball. You don’t know my brother, but take my word for it, he was excellent at basketball. I looked up to him as he was the greatest of all time. When he played, he had a Kobe like mindset. The mindset you want all athletes to have when the game is on the line.
Fast forward to the day I got the news that Kobe died. I am a Junior Varsity girls’ basketball coach in Spartanburg, South Carolina, at Broome high school. I had just taken the jerseys out of the dryer and started handing them out. We walked into the gym doing our pre-practice shooting, and my good friend from college called me and asked, “You heard about Kobe?” Then he went on to tell me he was dead. I asked him to stop playing, “Man, are you sure?” He said yes, and another college football teammate in California confirmed it. I still did not believe him. I hung up the phone and went to the internet. A shock went through my brain when it finally sunk in that it was true.
I didn’t personally know Kobe, but it felt like I grew up with him, so it shocked me to hear the news. Toward the end of practice, I received the news that his 13-year-old daughter was on the helicopter too. This crushed my heart instantly. The girls and I stopped practice to talk about what happened, and helped them understand that this young lady was their age. She had the dreams that they have to play basketball, and you never know what could happen daily in life. I shared that life is a gift, and asked them to please cherish every moment and go home and hug everybody.
I have kids myself, and I couldn’t imagine this happening to any of them. I have had nightmares every night since the news, thinking about the potential of my kids being taken from this world sooner than later.
When you see someone work as hard as he did to perfect his craft, you admire him no matter if you’re a fan of the Lakers or not. When people sit down and tell stories about how hard you worked is fantastic in itself. People will continue to tell your stories, and I hope people listen to every word. Tell my brother I love him when you see him. His name is Eddie Moore III, and he is a pass-first point guard with tons of heart, so when you take all the shots in heaven, my brother wants to mind a bit.
Rest In Peace Kobe, Gianna, John, Keri, Alyssa, Christina, Ara, Sarah & Payton.
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