KHS Mourns the Loss of Kobe Bryant

How the devastating loss of Kobe and Gianna Bryant affected the students of Kinnelon High School personally

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Picture by Heidi Scherer-Blake

Sophomore Andrew Smith wearing Kobe Bryant’s Lakers jersey.

On the morning of Jan. 26, the revered Lakers basketball player Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were killed in a helicopter crash on their way to Mamba Academy, the basketball training facility started by the late athlete. 

The morning was foggy, but the pilot, Ara Zobayan, was given special permission to fly Bryant and eight other passengers. The pilot was a certified flight instructor and had 8,200 hours of flight time as of July, but during a maneuver to avoid flying into a cloud layer, the helicopter crashed and fell at about 4,000 feet per minute.  

The Monday after the crash, the halls of Kinnelon High School were solemn, and jerseys donning the number 8 flooded the halls.  Many teachers discussed the significance of the event with their classes and opened up a discussion about the significance of life.  

A common theme throughout students was disbelief.  Sophomore Jabril Lindsey found out from his friend who texted the news in a group chat.  According to Lindsey, “We all thought it was fake, so we searched it up and we didn’t know for about five minutes.” 

Sophomore Ranon Aberbach found out from a group chat like Lindsey. “I didn’t think it was real. I waited for confirmation from the other kids who searched it up. When they told me it was real, I felt really sad and I couldn’t imagine what they went through in their last minutes.”  

Freshman Olivia Aliotta found out that Bryant had died from her father who sent her a link to an article. She said, “It was very upsetting, especially for someone who follows basketball like me. I always admired him and the techniques he used.”

Even students who did not follow basketball were still upset with the news. Freshman Anthony Masherelli, “It was sad, but I mean, I wasn’t a big fan of his so I wasn’t as hurt as many other people were.” He found out from TMZ’s Instagram account.  Like Lindsey, Masherelli also believed it was fake at first.

As Jabril Lindsey said, “It was very sad because everyone knows who Kobe is, he is an inspiration to all.”