Written by: Jenn Mak (@jenn_mak)
Earlier this week, Kobe Bryant made a rather quick stop at the CRSVR sneaker store in Santa Barbara to promote his new Nike Sportswear K.O.B.E. Collection. One Lakers Nation fan was lucky enough to encounter the Black Mamba first hand and tell of her experience:
When I found out Kobe was going to be in Santa Barbara, I knew I wanted to go meet him. Everyone knows I’m a huge Kobe/Lakers fan! Then I went on the NikeSportsWear’s Facebook page, and saw people leaving comments saying they were camping out…TWO days prior to the event! The Nike page was also selecting fans with the best answer to their question, “With five rings, Kobe has earned a rep for doing whatever it takes to win. So how far would you go in order to meet the Black Mamba himself?”
I never win anything, but I thought I might as well give it a go. So, my answer was:
“well, I have class until 10 pm tomorrow night but I would drive two hours to SB from L.A. after class and wait outside CRSVR. My entire family are Laker fans! We even have a living room that is Lakers themed! This is #1 on my bucket list!”
I was told that they were going to announce the winner the day before the event. However, I checked and nothing was posted. Seeing that people were already camping outside, I didn’t think I was going to get a ticket to get in. I was pretty set on not meeting him. The next morning, I carried on with my day as normal. At around 12:45pm, I get a call from my cousin telling me that I won, and get to meet Kobe as long as I get to SB by 3 pm to get my wristband. I was one of five people selected out of about 85 contestants. I thought my cousin was lying to me, until I checked the page and saw my name! I packed up my camera and ran out of the house, realizing that it was only two hours before 3 pm, and it takes about two hours to get to SB from LA! Luckily, I got there fifteen minutes before the deadline. I received my wristband for my nice little VIP access, which allowed me to meet and take a picture with Kobe, receive a free K.O.B.E. shirt, and sit front row for his interview with DJ Vice!
I was so nervous meeting him. Growing up, people always asked me what I would say to Kobe if I ever got the chance to meet him. Well, I managed to say “can I have a hug?” And so very kindly he responded saying “of course!” Although he has that killer instinct on the court, he actually turned out to be a very sweet guy (as I imagined)! Now I’m going to blow the picture up I took with Kobe and hang it up in my Lakers-themed living room! By far the greatest day…ever!