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Local teams honor Bryant's legacy by taking court

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Posted at 11:08 PM, Jan 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-28 06:37:14-05

It was one of the tougher Mondays on any basketball court.

"The kind of thinking for everyone was that it was not possible," Colorado College freshman guard Deante' Dennis said. "When they confirmed it, it was tough, kind of speechless."

Across southern Colorado in gyms at Air Force, UCCS and Colorado College, local players honored Kobe Bryant's legacy by playing the game he loved and helped shape for two decades.

"This is the game that he loved, this is the game that he was passionate about, so not taking any days off was big," Air Force sophomore guard A. J. Walker said.

For so many that grew up idolizing No. 8 and 24, his sudden and tragic death along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others Sunday still leaves many in shock.

"We're on Twitter, Facebook, social media and we saw it and kind of like no that can't be real, kind of like no, that can't be real," UCCS junior forward Geoff Kelly said.

Immortal to so many as an 18-time All-Star, five-time NBA champion, and MVP, the fact that Bryant's life ended at 41 years of age is a sober reminder of just how fragile life is.

"I always thought Kobe to be beyond life, superhuman, invincible," Colorado College sophomore guard Aaron Acosta said.

"Count your blessings that you get every single day, every single moment," UCCS junior guard Parker Gaddis said. "Appreciate the fact that we get to play this game because tomorrow is never promised."

And yet to honor a great, continuing to play basketball seems like the truest tribute. Working to get better every day, in true "Mamba Mentality" fashion.

"You just got to go out and work, because that's how he got to where he was," Air Force senior guard Caleb Morris said.

"Attack life with the mentality that he had, whether its basketball or whatever else you're doing," Kelly added.