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  • Writer's pictureEd Gaines

Heartbreaking Photo Shows Young Athletes Paying Tribute at Kobe Bryant’s Mamba Academy

A heartbreaking photo on Sunday showed dozens of young kids kneeling on a basketball court in tribute to Kobe Bryant, at the hoops star’s Mamba Sports Academy in California.

The emotional image, posted on Twitter, shows grief-stricken basketball players in jerseys and others kneeling or sitting on the court, many with their heads bowed.

Kobe and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna had reportedly been on their way to a planned basketball game at the athletic facility in Thousand Oaks when their chopper crashed, killing them and seven other people on board.

Gianna was expected to play in the game, part of a tournament in the Mamba Cup Series, with Bryant acting as coach.

All games that had been scheduled to take place at the training center on Sunday were reportedly canceled, in the aftermath of the tragic crash.

The retired Los Angeles Lakers star — who gave himself the nickname “Black Mamba” — co-founded the training facility for professional and amateur athletes in 2018.

For the last two years, Bryant had coached Gianna’s Amateur Athletic Union basketball team at the facility.

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