When Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant, and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 in Calabasas, California, people mourned as far away as China. So the residents of Newport Beach in Orange County, California, where Bryant resided for most of his NBA career, had even more reason to mourn based on sheer proximity to him.
That could be why Orange County’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Tuesday to make Aug. 24 “Kobe Bryant Day” as a way to honor him.
Bryant wore the numbers 8 and 24 during his career with the Los Angeles Lakers, hence the date chosen by officials. Both of Bryant’s numbers were hung in the rafters in 2017 after he retired, and he’s the only player in NBA history to have two numbers retired by the same team.
“A treasured member of our Orange County community, Kobe Bryant was the basketball legend that inspired so many young men and women to pursue their dreams and never give up,” said Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Michelle Steel, according to CNN.
She continued. “I’m proposing August 24 to be dedicated to the memory of Kobe Bryant, and all that he brought to Orange County community, which [is] to strive to live by his words of encouraging those around us to never give up on their dreams.”
Steel also said that Bryant was an extremely helpful community member and worked with kids in a youth sports academy, while doing philanthropic work with his wife Vanessa Bryant.
There aren’t any special events scheduled for “Kobe Bryant Day” but Steel said people could honor him “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.’”
“Kobe Bryant Day” will come one day after Bryant would have turned 42 years old.
So on Aug. 23, Nike will start “Mamba Week,” where the company will do several things to honor Bryant, like releasing the first signature shoe of his since his death.
“Mamba” was a nickname that Bryant used for much of his career. He played from 1996 to 2016 and spent that entire time with the Lakers.