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Local sports fans react to death of Kobe Bryant

Posted at 7:08 PM, Jan 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-26 22:08:41-05

It wasn't hard to find fans wearing his #8 or #24 Lakers jersey or even his high school uniform to honor and remember NBA superstar Kobe Bryant.

A very tragic day for fans locally after hearing the the Los Angeles Lakers superstar, Kobe Bryant, was one of nine people who perished in a helicopter crash in Calabasas Sunday morning.

Shock and sadness filled the Laguna Grill in San Luis Obispo, especially for those knowing that one of the favorite sports icons is now gone.

"I used to watch Kobe when I was little, growing up. He's a game changer, he's a presence, just like feeling his presence on and off the court was just something you could feel through the TV," said Joseph Castillo, a Laguna Grill employee.

For many living on the Central Coast, Kobe Bryant was more than just basketball.

He was a role model and his mamba mentality, a lifestyle for fans such as a Ralph Garcia.

"It's a way of life I think. Never quit, life is full of ups and downs, as long as you get knocked down, you get back up. Keep pursuing your dream," said Ralph Garcia, a San Luis Obispo resident.

The passing of the 5-time champion with the Los Angeles Lakers and staple in the California community, is leaving many with heavy hearts.

"My heart really hurts for him, especially the people that he was able to touch through the game and off and on the court, he's a really great guy," said Castillo.

As a Lakers fan for life, Garcia decided to honor Kobe the only way he knew how--- wearing his high school basketball jersey.

"Just honor him, honor his legacy as a life-long Lakers fan, appreciate everything he did," said Garcia.

Local's at Laguna Grill said Kobe Bryant's legacy will forever live on in their hearts.