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Kobe Bryant brought sports to page, podcast and film through Costa Mesa production company Granity Studios

Kobe Bryant created five books, a podcast, film shorts, a documentary about his career and a 2018 Academy Award-winning short through his Costa Mesa-based production company, Granity Studios.
Kobe Bryant created five books, a podcast, film shorts, a documentary about his career and a 2018 Academy Award-winning short through his Costa Mesa-based production company, Granity Studios.
(File Photo / Los Angeles Times)

When most people first hear the name Kobe Bryant, they think about the phenom on the basketball court.

But off the court, Bryant fed an early love for storytelling through his Costa Mesa-based multimedia production company, Granity Studios. He created five books, a podcast, film shorts, a documentary about his career called “Muse” and a 2018 Academy Award-winning short, “Dear Basketball.”

On Monday morning, two bouquets of purple and yellow flowers adorned a table inside the Granity Studios courtyard on Susan Street, a small homage to the company’s founder, who died Sunday in a helicopter crash in Calabasas that also killed his daughter Gianna and seven other people.

Granity Studios declined to comment for this article.

“The Wizenard Series: Season One,” the second book in a series that follows a young athlete through a magical world where he learns life lessons through sports, is due out in March.

The most recent book release, “Epoca: The Tree of Ecrof,” was published in November and written by Ivy Claire. It tells the story of two children attending an elite sports academy who must unlock their secret powers to overcome evil forces at the school.

The first book Bryant published, “The Mamba Mentality: How I Play,” in 2018, explored the mind-set behind his disciplined, creative approach to sports.

The subsequent works, which he released in rapid succession in 2019, married his love of sports and the metaphysical world. In March, he released “The Wizenard Series: Training Camp,” a book he created and Wesley King wrote about a coach who magically transforms the West Bottom Badgers, an underperforming basketball team.

“Legacy and the Queen,” which Granity published in September, follows a 12-year-old girl named Legacy who must win a tennis tournament to save her family’s orphanage.

“Sports itself is just inherently emotional,” Bryant said in a November talk with Claire — who also writes under the name Ivy Pochoda — in a livestreamed video from Talkshoplive. “And then the bigger thing is that sports inspires people. Inspiration is magical. So if we can take emotion, inspiration, connect those together, build a sports world that’s centered on that, it’ll be all right.”

In the video, Bryant said his daughters played “a major part” in creating his books — both as his earliest critics and as inspiration for characters.

“A lot of it is observing them and listening to them talk about sports — some of the challenges that they face, trying to put those into the story,” Bryant said.

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