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Kobe Bryant’s high school friend on the pre-NBA Mamba

Lakers, Kobe Bryant

Stacy Moscotti went to high school with Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, so she decided to share some photos of early Kobe, following the NBA great’s tragic death on Sunday in a helicopter accident that also killed Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven other people.

Bryant went to his senior prom with Brandy, who was a big time actress and singer at the time. Kobe listed “NBA” when he was asked where he was going to school after graduation, while Moscotti wrote Duke. She says Bryant told her he was going to Duke as well when he found out she was going, only to reveal he was just joking around. Bryant entered the NBA straight out of high school, being the No. 13 overall pick in the 1996 draft.

In 1,346 career games for the Lakers, Bryant cemented himself as the greatest Laker of all-time. He holds career averages of 25.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game. The 6-foot-6 shooting guard was an 18-time All-Star, two-time scoring champion, 15-time All-NBA team member, two-time Finals MVP and five-time champion with the Purple and Gold, cementing himself as one of the game’s all-time greats.

Bryant is the fourth-leading scoring in NBA history, after LeBron James passed him on Saturday, less than one day before his untimely death. Some pundits point to his inefficient shooting numbers as to why Kobe is not higher on their all-time lists. At the end of the day, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but players who played against Bryant know exactly what Kobe brought to the table every night.

The Lakers retired Bryant’s No. 8 and 24 jersey last year. He will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer when inductees are announced later this year, and always be number one in the hearts of Lakers fans.