Since retiring after 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant has put his full attention into developing the Musecage Network and an animated short that earned him an Oscar Award. On occasion, he’s also made guest appearances for speaking engagements in recent months.
One such instance came last December, when the five-time champion met with the Philadelphia Eagles to lend some advice and motivation ahead of their matchup with the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII. More recently, Bryant congratulated and reminded Notre Dame star Arike Ogunbowale on her remarkable performance in the women’s tournament.
And last week he took time out of his schedule for a special speaking engagement at the USC Marshall School of Business. After the event, head coach Clay Helton presented Bryant with a No. 24 Trojans cardinal and gold football jersey.
While Helton had previously met Bryant at a Trojans basketball game, he marveled at the insight the Lakers legend provided, via USC’s YouTube channel:
“Only at USC. Through our business school, Dave Belasco and the entrepreneurial school, brought Kobe out to kind of go through the sports performance of the mindset. To kind of see his competitive mindset and what he’s about. It was an hour-long presentation. It was unbelievable to see him in that real environment just be himself. I knew he was one of the fiercest competitors in all of sports. Now I know that without a doubt. He was able to talk to our students, I thought it was enlightening. I got a lot out of it to be honest with you. I had the opportunity to present him an honorary No. 24 football jersey from the Trojans. It was just great having him on campus. He did a lot for those kids. It was really neat.”
Although he did not specifically address Helton’s football team, who are no strangers to being visited a long list of current and former NFL stars, Bryant speaking at USC could bring the Trojans some luck on the gridiron.
After all, his Eagles went on to upset the Patriots in the Super Bowl, and Notre Dame went on to win the national championship. Helton’s Trojans are looking to repeat as Pac-12 champions and earn a spot in the College Football Playoff for the first time since the format’s inception.