Dallas Wings star Satou Sabally has not yet played in the 2024 WNBA season due to a shoulder injury. The two-time All-Star and last season’s Most Improved Player is working toward a return and is hoping to lead her team to the playoffs. One source of inspiration in the hard work of her rehab is Kobe Bryant, who she met in college and was a fan of long before then.

On Podcast P with Paul George presented by Wave Sports + Entertainment, Sabally told a few stories about her connection with the late basketball icon. While she also talked about the infamous story involving Grant Williams, she talked about what Bryant meant to her and how a message she shared is still very meaningful.

Sabally talked about basketball players that she took inspiration from, naming Bryant, LeBron James, Derrick Rose, Maya Moore and Candace Parker, before mentioning that she wore George's signature shoes in college and that Bryant had signed one of them. George revealed that he didn’t have Bryant's signature on one of his shoes and joked that he would buy it from her.

“That was in college, my last year,” the former Oregon standout recalled. “We played at [the University of California] and Kobe came to our game. That was so great.” Bryant's connection with another Oregon star, Sabrina Ionescu, led him close to the Ducks. The players didn’t know ahead of time that he would be at that game, though, which Sabally said obviously took them by surprise.

“They knew but they didn’t really want to tell us. But then he was on the sideline and I'm warming up and Kobe really sat there and watched me warm up,” she said. “I was like, ‘I gotta make all these shots right now. Let me be chill. Let me be cool.’” Oregon beat Cal by a score of 93-61 and Sabally had 16 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals on 5-15 shooting from the field.

Sabally didn’t have a jersey for Bryant to sign when he visited their locker room but did have the Los Angeles Lakers' psychologist's book, in which Bryant wrote a note to her. One of the Podcast P hosts, Jackie Long, said that Sabally should get a tattoo of the note – and she revealed that she did, with the message of “do epic things” that she now uses as a mantra. She called the experience “a great memory.”

Satou Sabally is indeed doing epic things in her career, even with this recent bump in the road. She is excited to return from her injury, which is likely to be sometime around August. The Wings are just 3-7 right now but should be able to start winning more once Sabally teams back up with Arike Ogunbowale and Natasha Howard, though she is also working to return from a broken foot.