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Orange County declares Aug. 24 ‘Kobe Bryant Day’ to honor late athlete

The day after the legendary basketball star would have turned 42, Orange County will observe “Kobe Bryant Day.”

Bryant, a Los Angeles Lakers player and Orange County resident who died in a helicopter crash in January along with his daughter, Gianna, and seven others, will be commemorated on Aug. 24 – a date that evokes his former jersey numbers, 8 and 24.

Orange County supervisors voted Tuesday, Aug. 11, to designate Kobe Bryant Day at the request of board Chairwoman Michelle Steel, who described herself as a lifelong Lakers fan and said that years ago she almost gave birth to her first child at the Forum – her contractions started right after a Lakers game she was attending.

Steel said in more recent years she saw what Bryant was doing for young people – including with a youth sports academy and the philanthropic foundation he and his wife, Vanessa, created – and thought his contributions as an Orange County resident should be honored.

The county resolution also names the others who died in the crash: Orange Coast College basketball coach John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa; Harbor Day School basketball coach Christina Mauser; Payton Chester, a basketball teammate of Gianna, and her mother, Sarah; and pilot Ara Zobayan.

No special events are planned for the day, Steel said, but those who choose to can pay tribute however they see fit.

The board’s resolution says the goal of Kobe Bryant Day is to encourage people to further his legacy “by engaging in community building helping young people in need, encouraging aspiring youth to follow their dreams, and living by Bryant’s words: ‘The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.’”

Source: Orange County Register

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