Houston teens are able to hold on to a precious snapshot of Kobe Bryant after they took a photo with the legendary basketball player just one day before his fatal helicopter crash.
“We were all, like, It’s Kobe!, there he is!” said Kacy Carlton, a mother to one of the Nike Cy-Fair Elite 2024 girls basketball players. “It’s hard to be an adult when the guy you grew up idolizing is right there.
The athletes were playing in the Mamba Cup in Southern California and competed against Bryant’s daughter Gigi, who also died in the crash.
The Texas team came out victorious, and Aniah Alewine and her teammates snapped a quick photo with Kobe.
When the team arrived back to Mamba Academy on Sunday (Jan. 26) to await the arrival of the “Black Mamba” and “Mambacita,” they soon received the devastating news.
“We were just shocked,” Alewine said. “We didn’t want to believe it.”
Justice Carlton teared up when she recounted her quick interaction with the 41-year-old after their game ended.
“I wish he would have stayed a little bit longer. I’m never going to forget it,” she said.
(Photo: Getty Images)