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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Kobe Bryant's Message to Chicago High Schoolers

A day before his Lakers beat the Bulls 103-91, Kobe Bryant spoke to a group of Chicago high school athletes at the Nike Team Huddle, which was held at Tim Grover's Attack Athletics facility. Writers Scoop Jackson and Kevin Carroll also addressed the audience. Chicago Sun Times' writer Steve Tucker covered the event, which was organized at the request of Bryant, who speaks to high school athletes in various cities during road trips whenever the NBA schedule permits it.

Here are some quotes from Bryant's remarks:

"I was a hard-headed kid. People used to tell me not to put all my eggs in one basket and that I wasn't going to be in the NBA."

"If you show meticulousness in the classroom, it can carry over to a basketball game. If you act like you have [attention deficit disorder], that can carry over, too."

"I'm a fan of basketball. I made a decision that come hell or high water, it's what I want."

Bryant also took questions from the audience. He told one questioner that his relationship with former teammate Shaquille O'Neal has "never been cooler" than it is now and told another questioner that "people think I'm not a funny guy. I'm a part-time stand-up comedian."

Sonny Vaccaro, who used to run the ABCD camp for high school players, told Tucker, "When Kobe came back from Italy after his sophomore year, no one knew who he was. We came to [camp] that summer and when he didn't get the top underclassman award, he thanked me and said he was sorry he disappointed me. Then he said, 'Mr. Vaccaro, I'm going to be MVP next year.' Of all the high school kids I've ever seen, Kobe was the most driven. And he still is."

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posted by David Friedman @ 4:20 AM



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