The Orange County Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday (Aug. 11) to declare Aug. 24 as “Kobe Bryant Day.” The late NBA legend and longtime Orange County resident was a “treasured member” of the community who “inspired so many men and one to pursue their dreams and never give up,” O.C. County Board Chairwoman Michelle Steel said of Bryant.
The resolution reads, “The Orange County Board of supervisors recognizes August 24th as Kobe Bryant Day an encourages members of our community to continue Kobe Bryant’s 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.”
The date of Aug. 24 was chosen in honor of Bryant’s basketball jersey numbers 8 and 24. Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash in January alongside his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, would have celebrated his 42nd birthday later this month.
Bryant was drafted into the NBA directly out of high school in 1996. His list of accolades includes winning five NBA championships, being an 18-time NBA All-Star, a 2008 NBA MVP, and a two-time NBA Finals MVP winner.
The Lakers star, who was the only player in the NBA to have two jersey numbers retired, became one of the biggest names in basketball and used the sport as a launching pad to help others. Bryant, and his wife Vanessa, founded the Bryant Family Foundation aimed at helping young people in need and “encouraging the development of physical and social skills” through sports. Bryant also opened the Black Mamba Sports Academy, which is where he was headed on the morning of the tragic fatal crash.