Monday morning, NBA fans headed to Staples Center to honor the memories of Kobe Bryant and those that had died in the Jan. 26 helicopter crash. Mamba Sports Academy also paid tribute to Bryant and his daughter Gianna on Monday. They did so by releasing a special video on Instagram.
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The video posted on social media showed the letter "M" encircled by a Black Mamba. The number "2" appeared first, referencing the jersey number worn by Gianna. It then slid to the left as "4" appeared to help form Bryant's No. 24. The video ended with Bryant's original number (8) appearing and then turning sideways to form the infinity symbol.
"Today, as the world prepares to remember the lives of Kobe and Gianna Bryant, we remain committed to honoring their legacy. Today, tomorrow, and every day thereafter," the caption of the video read.
"Forever and ever we'll honor their legacy #mambaforever #mambacitaforever," one Bryant fan wrote on Instagram. Several others simply commented with purple and yellow heart emojis to represent the colors of the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Mamba Sports Academy was originally launched as the Sports Academy in 2016, but it rebranded and expanded in 2018 once Bryant got involved. According to ESPN's Arash Markazi, "the Mamba Sports Academy is a 100,000 square-foot facility in Thousand Oaks, which operates five basketball courts, five volleyball courts, two beach volleyball courts, a turf field, an esports training ground, batting cages, pitching mounds and a Gracie Barrajiujitsu school."
"Sports Academy has perfected the art and science of athletic training, from elite players to young kids getting started," Bryant said in 2018, per Bleacher Report. "MAMBA Sports Academy is a natural expansion of my commitment to educating and empowering the next generation of kids through sports."
Bryant was a proponent of youth sports during his life and was very involved in organizations that would provide free and comprehensive after-school programs in order to keep children safe and help them succeed in school and life. One example was the After-School All-Stars, an organization for which Bryant served as an ambassador for more than a decade.
The late NBA icon's dedication to youth sports was well-documented, and the Mamba Sports Academy wanted to properly honor the impact that he made during his life. Releasing the video on Instagram that featured the numbers worn by Bryant and Gianna was one part of this process.
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