Illinois Player Pays Tribute to Kobe Bryant After Winning Big Ten Title With Iconic Photo

Ayo Dosunmu, a basketball player for the University of Illinois, paid tribute to Los Angeles [...]

Ayo Dosunmu, a basketball player for the University of Illinois, paid tribute to Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant after helping his team win the Big Ten Championship this past weekend. After Illinois' 91-88 overtime win over Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament, Dosunmu sat in a corner with the team's championship trophy. A photo of Dosunmu sitting in the corner was posted on his Instagram account, and he included a photo of Bryant with a similar pose after the Los Angeles Lakers won the 2001 NBA Finals. Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash with seven other people in January of 2020.

In the caption, Dosunmu wrote, "Job not finished," a famous quote from Bryant that he said when the Lakers were up 2-0 in the 2009 NBA Finals. Illinois will face Drexel in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and considered as one of the favorites to win the entire thing.

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"It was crazy, thinking about all the things we've accomplished and knowing how I came on my visit with coach (Brad) Underwood and I told him these are the things we can accomplish," Dosunmu said after being named the Big Ten Tournament's Most Outstanding Player, according to ESPN. "So to get up there, cut that net down and see that No. 1 seed come up there, it's just an unreal feeling."

Dosunmu is one of the best basketball players in the country. He was named to the AP All-America First Team, becoming the first player in school history to reach that mark. And according to 247Sports, Dosunmu is the only player in the last 11 seasons to average at least 20 points (20.7), six rebounds (6.7) and five assists (5.3).

"I just felt that playing for my home state and investing in my home state meant more than it would at another school," Dosunmu told SB Nation last week. "I thought I had a chance to do something special at Illinois." Dosunmu joined Illinois as a four-star recruit, according to 247Sports. Coming out of high school, Dosunmu was listed as the No. 1 player in the state of Illinois and the 32nd best player in the nation.