‘He’s a legend. He’s an icon’: Chesterfield basketball coach reminds people to take lessons from Kobe Bryant’s legacy

8News Digital Exclusive

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) — David Anderson, the owner of Foundation Academy Sports, runs his program with the “Mamba Mentality.” He says that nobody should ever forget the life of Kobe Bryant, who took what he learned from Michael Jordan and turned it into one of the greatest skill sets of all-time.

In this Dec. 1, 2015 file photo Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant smiles as he jogs to the bench during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers in Philadelphia. The Retired NBA superstar has died in helicopter crash in Southern California, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The news of the passing of Kobe Bryant seemingly stunned the world, leaving the basketball community in a state of shock. Bryant was always in conversation with the “greatest of all-time debate,” and Anderson reflects on the moment he found out about the tragic news.

“Some of the kids came in and asked me, “did you hear the news?” It was flashing on our screens that Kobe passed away which was a tragedy.,” Anderson said. “Feeling like you lost a great person and great legend in the basketball community and I was heartbroken.”

Anderson, who works with children every day, says Gianna Bryant’s passing is a reminder of how fragile life can be.

“Family is everything. When you lose somebody so young, you have to reflect back on your own life and the people around you to figure out how to not lose that time anymore and if you don’t then you haven’t learned a lesson on his life,” Anderson said.

Former NBA star Kobe Bryant attends an NCAA women’s college basketball game between Long Beach State and Oregon, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2094 in Long Beach, Calif. The Oregon won 81-45. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

One of the children in his program, Kobe Walker, was named after the legend himself.

“When I was younger, my mom said she was trying to keep the K’s going with our names. My sister starts with a K, and my mom. Then she was trying to think of a name for me, and they thought Kobe,” Walker said.

Anderson’s program has been active for over 20 years and he says he trains the kids to be the best in their communities, and to always maintain a work ethic that shows they’ve earned to be where they are.

“I am going to train and develop harder than anybody around me. I am going to compete harder than anyone around me. No matter what the score is, I am never going to quit,” Anderson said.

Anderson says his academy has helped produce a few Gatorade Players of the Year over the years. One of those winners and Monacan High School Graduate, Megan Walker, trained with Kobe Bryant last summer in California in a moment to truly treasure.

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Mamba mentality 🙏🏽

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Anderson says Kobe Bryant’s legacy will never be forgotten.

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