Written By: Marco Sifoni
KOBE!!!! – one of the most iconic and infamous things basketball players/fans would say as they take a game-winning shot or fade away jumper while playing in a game of basketball basically calling out that their shot was right on the money. That specific action means a whole lot more today than it ever did.
It has been over a month since the tragic news broke that a helicopter carrying 9 people on board, including former NBA superstar Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi Bryant, unfortunately crashed in California leaving no survivors. I know that I, just like many others, have had a difficult time grasping the reality that one of our childhood idols has gone too soon. Even though he was never a member of my favorite team, I always respected his game and cheered him on due to his Philadelphia roots and amazing skills in general. I believe what makes it even more heartbreaking is the fact that all of us probably envisioned that Kobe Bryant, the GOAT of modern-day basketball, would be around a lot longer whether he was writing more books, coaching, or having some sort of position in the NBA.
To some, Kobe Bryant was specifically known as a basketball player but, his legacy speaks volumes more about family, a #GirlDad, work ethic, stewardship, support, and positivity. A 20-year career in the NBA – included an MVP of the league title, 18-time All-Star, 5-time NBA Champion with the Lakers, 2-time Finals MVP, and 4th on the NBA All-time Scoring List – taught everyone whom watched him play the meaning of how to be a true competitor, an obsessive grind, hard work pays off, continuous learning, take advantage of opportunities, leadership, curiosity, teamwork, focus, never being satisfied, and relentlessness. Sure, Kobe Bryant was great in almost everything he did because of his mentality and hard work whether it was playing basketball, coaching, or supporting female sports but, just like the rest of us, he was not perfect.
It is said that when Kobe faced trials, especially the accusation of sexual assault in 2003, he leaned on his faith to get him through it and strengthen him (Philip Kosloski, Kobe Bryant Saved by His Catholic Faith). Yes, this situation will always be a footnote left on Kobe’s career but, there is beauty and light that we can recognize in this situation where Kobe trusted in his faith. As humans, we are quick to be angry, pass judgment, and/or complain when we face trials but, to be frank, none of those things will actually help us through our trials.
Today, on the Feast Day of St. Joseph, we are reminded of how St. Joseph, a just man, the husband of Mary and Jesus’ father here on Earth, also trusted in God, opened his life to God, and leaned on his faith in order to face his trials, especially when he was confronted by an angel to stay with Mary even though he was aware that she was with child of the Holy Spirit.
It may be difficult to find the light through our darkest times but, by trusting in God and leaning on our faith we can begin to see some light to face any trial or obstacle head on and be victorious. Our darkest and saddest times remind us to embrace the ones we love, mend the relationships that need fixing, and trust God and lean on our faith because life is too fragile and we are even more aware that we are not promised tomorrow.
St. Joseph pray for us!