In his new young adult fiction book entitled “Geese Are Never Swans,” Los Angeles Lakers icon Kobe Bryant tackled the subject trauma and the healing process that proceeds it.

Kobe Bryant’s co-author, psychologist Eva Clark shared what it was like working with the basketball legend. Clark pointed out that Bryant was particularly interested in the topic of mental health in sports. Speaking with Morgan Smith and Sam Gillette of PEOPLE, Clark said:

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“Kobe was very interested in showing this athlete that had this extreme drive stemming from trauma that’s [unfortunately] celebrated by people as successful,” Clark says. “But they’re not in touch with their trauma, which is why they’re so angry.”

She continues: “Kobe really wanted to show the healing: how to accept help, connect with other people, take care of yourself and still have drive and still be a great athlete. When you’re not fighting, you’re able to see more, go further.”

“There is still so much stigma around mental health, it’s seen as something — especially in sports — that isn’t talked about or people can’t open up about,” Clark says.

For Bryant fans, these topics are pretty familiar. After all, Bryant was known for taking all the negative criticisms hurled at him into a form of fuel. Stories like these are legion. And in the last years of his life, Kobe dedicated himself to sharing the countless lessons he learned on the court to other people. Kobe, indeed, is a gift that keeps on giving. Though he’s not with us, we still feel his presence through his books and stories.