Roanoke – In the wake of the recent and tragic death of 9 people in a helicopter crash that included former NBA superstar Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, one local rec basketball team has decided to honor them for the rest of the season.
The 14-and-under boys basketball team from North Roanoke Rec Club, ‘Triple Threat’ is honoring the young girls that were lost in the crash. They each have the names of Gianna Bryant, aAlyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester on the left side of their jerseys. This is a simple gesture by the team to show every life matters - famous or not.
Coach Jeremy Gibson is a father of four, 3 of which play basketball, including a 12-year-old daughter. So the tragedy hit close to home.
“That’s when it really hit home to me, that I wanted to have something for these girls and something for these boys to carry on maybe for the rest of their lives. They might not understand the impact these girls have on them right now as players, but I think they understand what it means to me as a coach and that was the message I wanted to get across to them,” Gibson said.
The team has a total of 6 players, but only 5 are currently playing. Gibson told his team they will play the rest of the season with the spirit of 8.