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Orange County declares 8/24 Kobe Bryant Day

Kobe Bryant poses with his family after getting his jerseys retired Dec. 18, 2017, at Staples Center.
(Chris Carlson / Associated Press)

Orange County supervisors picked an easy-to-remember date to designate as Kobe Bryant Day.

It’s Aug. 24, chosen for the two jersey numbers, 8 and 24, the late Lakers legend wore during his 20-year career.

That date is also a day after Bryant’s birthday. He would have been 42 this year.

The supervisors voted to observe Kobe Bryant Day at the request of board Chairwoman Michelle Steel, a lifelong Lakers fan. She said Bryant, who lived with his family in Newport Beach, was a “treasured member of our community” who “inspired so many men and women to pursue their dreams and never give up.”

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Orange County follows the Los Angeles City Council, which designated the same date as Kobe Bryant Day in 2016.

The board’s resolution names all nine people who died in a helicopter crash Jan. 26 in Calabasas — Bryant and his daughter Gianna; Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and their daughter Alyssa; Christina Mauser; Ara Zobayan; and Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton.

According to the resolution, the intent is to encourage others to continue 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.’ ”

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Bryant’s reputation was tarnished after a 2003 incident in Colorado. A sexual assault charge against him eventually was dropped and a civil suit involving the same incident was settled out of court. But Bryant was able to rebuild his image and became known for his devotion to his wife, Vanessa, and their four daughters.

Supervisor Don Wagner seemed to acknowledge all of that in his comments regarding Kobe Bryant Day.

“Kobe Bryant’s life, like each one of us who ever lived, presents moments to celebrate and to condemn,” Wagner said. “Kobe, like all of us, faced challenges, challenges of his own making and challenges thrown at him by life, that he overcame. Today, we celebrate the effort in overcoming those challenges.”


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