To say that the collective basketball world is stunned, shocked and saddened by the death of Kobe Bryant is a gross understatement. That includes the world of HBCU basketball, whose players grew up idolizing him, and at least one coach who played with him.
Mississippi Valley State head coach Lindsey Hunter played with and against Bryant during his 17-year NBA career.
The former Jackson State star and NBA lottery pick released a statement through MVSU on Sunday night.
“If you love basketball, a part of you has been lost. Kobe was the prime example of how to build the perfect basketball player. Work ethic, unmatched. Mentality, unflappable and drive unmatched,” Hunter wrote.
“The saddest part is that the second chapter of his life with his daughter was setting up to be better than the first. God bless his wife, kids and parents. We lost a giant, legend and trendsetter. May his legacy live forever.”
Hunter teamed up with Bryant after being traded to the Lakers during the 2001-2002 NBA season. He then won a ring against Bryant and the Lakers during the 2003-04 as he returned to the Detroit Pistons, who drafted him 10th overall in 1993.
MSVU is currently 1-17 in Hunter’s first season with the program.