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Turkish club Galatasaray honoring Kobe Bryant with fan cutout inside stadium

Kobe Bryant

Turkish club Galatasaray is honoring former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant with his own cutout for Sunday’s match against Gaziantep.

Most sports stateside remain suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic. But things are picking back up in Europe, with soccer taking center stage as leagues around the continent finish out their respective seasons. Of course, they are doing so without fans in the seats.

Many teams have resorted to a variety of methods in an effort to recreate the fan experience, including using cutouts.

Bryant’s soccer fandom was well renowned during the course of his playing career.

Kobe, who grew up in Italy, had often been fond of the sport, visiting numerous European clubs throughout the year. This included Galatasaray.

Kobe Bryant visited the club back in 2011, even taking part in a penalty shootout with some members of the team.

Galatasaray tweeted out a photo of Bryant donning the club kit in remembrance of his visit nearly one month after the legend died in a tragic helicopter crash in January.

The caption noted Bryant’s visit was “one of the fondest memories in our club history.”

Kobe Bryant’s death–as well as the loss of his daughter, Gianna, and seven others–had an enormous impact on people across the world.

Kobe was truly a global phenomenon, an athlete who transcended his sport and sought to establish a legacy beyond just playing basketball.

Fans will not be present for the conclusion of Galatasaray’s season. But Bryant is one of many who remain present in spirit.