As Lakers Nation continues to reflect on the loss of Dwight Howard in free agency, it seems that Kobe Bryant has officially moved on. Every year, Kobe hosts his summer camp for youths from the ages of eight to 18 at the Kobe Basketball Academy at the University of Santa Barbara for who he calls “junior mambas” to come and not only show off their talents, but also improve their game and learn how to compete like the “Black Mamba,” while ultimately having fun.
Hundreds of youth from around the globe have signed up for the seventh annual Kobe Basketball Academy. Led by Kobe himself and his talented and proven coaching staff, the children will learn the five fundamentals of basketball along with the Flex offense, the Princeton offense, and of course, the Triangle offense.
The campers are taught not only their to improve their basketball skills, but they are also treated with motivational speakers with topics such as bullying and self-confidence when they gather every night after a long day of basketball.
What does this camp mean to Kobe? What is his favorite part?
“They learn a lot at the camp. That’s the coolest part to me. They feel like they come to the camp and leave as better players.”
You would think that Kobe would want to watch the competitive nature of the camp, like the scrimmages or the contests, to watch and see the growth in his campers in comparison to what he was like as a youth. I think it speaks volumes of Kobe’s character that what he takes the most out of his camp is that his campers learn new skills and improve the ones they already possess.
When you tie Kobe’s current predicament with his injury and the constant rumors of possible retirement, Kobe feels a sense of responsibility to continue to be a role model to his campers.
“I want to continue to try and inspire the people that look up to me. I want to continue to live up to that. What is more important, is to pass off what some of the things you have learned; the work ethic, the commitment, the passion.”
What Lakers Nation can be excited about is that Kobe is somehow, someway finding new inspirations to play longer and at a higher level with every place he goes. We always knew that Kobe was the ultimate competitor and would give everything just to step foot on a basketball court again, but did we really know how bad he wanted it?
Unintentionally, using his camp to find a way to drive him even more is something that you cannot make up. The man is driven. You have to think, with all these reports and panic about what the Lakers will do next, they only drive him more, and we can all find something to look forward to for the rest of his career.
Here’s Lakers Nation’s interview with Kobe Bryant talking about his basketball camp and the future. Check out our video below and don’t forget to click here to subscribe to our YouTube Channel!