London Lions pay tribute to Kobe Bryant
PUBLISHED: 15:30 28 January 2020
A basketball team have paid tribute to sports legend Kobe Bryant following his death in a helicopter crash in the US.
London Lions players and chief executive Vincent Macaulay spoke at the University of East London's (UEL) SportsDock after Bryant's untimely death on Sunday, January 26.
Vincent recalled meeting the star during the 2012 London Olympics. He said: "This is a very sad day for basketball, and Kobe is a great loss, not just to the game, but to the world of sport. Kobe was one of the greatest players of all time. He loved the game, but also wanted to share it with everyone.
"I was lucky to meet him twice and have watched his career over the years. He was a true legend and inspiration to everyone in the world of sport."
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Player Andre Lockhart met Bryant in North Carolina when he was studying. He said: "Kobe was just magical, one of those superheroes you idolise. He was my Batman and Superman!"
UEL hosted basketball during the Olympics with Kobe among the players. The London Lions have been working with UEL to bring sport and education together, giving players access to educational opportunities and students the ability to take up internships and work experience.
Matt Tansley, UEL's director of sport, said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends. As a university we were fortunate to have hosted one of the greatest players who ever played the game of basketball.
"It's so sad, but hopefully we can all continue to take inspiration from Kobe's amazing achievements on and off the court and continue to support the sport he loved."
The Lions, winners of the British Basketball League championship in the 2018/19 season, are based at The Copper Box Arena in Stratford.