The world of sports lost a true icon on Sunday. Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash along with six other passengers and one pilot, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Bryant was 41.
As the world mourns the loss of one of the greatest to ever play the sport, players, coaches and alumni of the Maryland athletics family commented on the tragic death of the former NBA champion.
“We talked to the team. We wanted them to hear from us. So I was told it was official, so we told them. And it’s a sad day, unfortunate,” Maryland men’s basketball head coach Mark Turgeon said after his team beat Indiana, 77-76, on the road. “I was an assistant with the 76ers for one year, so he was born in that town and that was really the only time I was around Kobe. One of the all-time bests.”
Fresh off his stellar, 29-point performance against the Hoosiers, Jalen Smith reminisced on his idol’s legacy and his impact across the sports world.
Stix on his idol, Kobe Bryant— Maryland Basketball (@TerrapinHoops) January 26, 2020
A legend gone too soon. pic.twitter.com/P6DL7US4MR
Aaron Wiggins chimed in on Kobe’s mentality inspiring generations of players back when he was on a Maryland athletics podcast.
“The way he wanted to be great... it made me want to strive to be just as great” @Aaron_Wiggins_ and a generation of athletes were inspired by the legendary mentality of Kobe Bryant— Hear The Turtle (@HearTheTurtle) January 26, 2020
Mamba Forever pic.twitter.com/cZFVfQtC2k
Head football coach Mike Locksley said “time is our most valuable commodity” in the wake of the heartbreaking news.
Had a chance to meet and hear Kobe speak last year. Rest In Peace to a G.O.A.T! Time is our most valuable commodity cherish it....don’t waste it!! Thoughts and prayers to his family. #MambaOut— Michael Locksley (@CoachLocks) January 26, 2020
Other notable Maryland athletics figures expressed their condolences to the Bryant family and the others involved in the fatal crash that occurred Sunday morning in Calabasas.
In NYC, at our upfronts, Kobe was backstage and all he wanted to talk about was coaching his daughter’s team. Such pure joy. I keep thinking of that video of he and his daughter at the Lakers game. Those girls....his family. My goodness, man.— Scott Van Pelt (@notthefakeSVP) January 26, 2020
Our hearts are with the Bryant family after the passing of Kobe and Gianna.— Maryland Women’s Basketball (@umdwbb) January 26, 2020
Thankful for the years of inspiration, service to others and support for the women’s basketball community. pic.twitter.com/C1N0ilbHUe
Momma, Kobe, Mambacita— Bruno Fernando™ (@BrunoFernandoMV) January 27, 2020
I know y’all were watching and cheering us on tonight with a big smile on yalls faces ❤️❤️❤️.
Continue to look down on us and lift us up with all the love strength and Passion you have ❤️. #LifeDoesntBelongToUS
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At a loss for words. I met Kobe one time. Listened to him speak, in person, one time. He was the type of person, when he stepped into a room you felt his presence right away. The type of person, when he spoke you listened to every word. A legend we all looked up to in every way. RIP Kobe
Today I lost my hero...— DIGGS (@stefondiggs) January 26, 2020
I can’t believe Kove Bryant is gone. My favorite player ever, the GOAT. Rest In Peace to a Legend. Praying for his family. He was taken to early and so was his daughter. #ForeverInOurHearts #24 #MAMBA— Kaila Charles (@__KC5) January 26, 2020
“The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.” RIP legend. 24 forever— Taylor Mikesell (@TMikesell23) January 26, 2020
Still in shock, thank you for everything you did for the game and so many others #RIPMAMBA— Jake Layman (@JLayman10) January 26, 2020
In other news
Jalen Smith led No. 17 Maryland men’s basketball to a monumental road win against Indiana in Bloomington.
Here are three takeaways from the dramatic finish to the game.
No. 20 Maryland women’s basketball avenged its previous loss to Northwestern with a home victory against the Wildcats.
The latest SB Nation FanPulse listed the Big Ten as the best conference in all of college basketball.
4-star recruit Taizse Johnson announced his commitment to Maryland football Sunday night.
A few hours later, JUCO linebacker Gereme Spraggins also announced he was joining the Terps.
Lila gave her weekly update on what ranked teams suffered losses this past week.
Today is an especially hard day to write and tweet about basketball. But a tradition is a tradition, so here are the ranked teams that lost this week:— Lila Bromberg (@lilabbromberg) January 27, 2020
-No. 11 Michigan State
-No. 13 Butler
-No. 18 Texas Tech (twice)
-No. 20 Memphis (twice)
-No. 22 Arizona
-No. 24 Rutgers
Check out the final play in the Terps’ win over the Hoosiers.
The final play in Bloomington— Maryland Basketball (@TerrapinHoops) January 26, 2020
WHAT. A. WIN. pic.twitter.com/WsWLMtUGnk
Get a glimpse into the Maryland locker room after the program’s first win at Assembly Hall since joining the Big Ten.
THIS. ALL OF THIS. pic.twitter.com/awPyuQSaYP— Maryland Basketball (@TerrapinHoops) January 26, 2020
Jalen Smith took to Twitter to apologize for chirping back at Hoosier fans.
I want to sincerely apologize to all the Indiana’s fans and players for how I acted at the end of the game. I let my emotions get the best of me and it won’t happen again. I have nothing but respect for all Indiana’s fans and players. Please forgive me and I wish you all the best— Jalen Smith (@JalenSmith2000) January 26, 2020
Check out Testudo Times podcast host and editor Matt Levine with the postgame interview after No. 20 Maryland women’s basketball took down No. 22 Northwestern Sunday.
The University of Maryland family lost a notable alum this weekend in legendary basketball coach Morgan Wootten.
The Greatest High School Coach of All-Time— Maryland Basketball (@TerrapinHoops) January 26, 2020
But Morgan Wootten represented more than just wins. He was a teacher, a mentor, a friend - who transformed the lives of young people at @DeMathaCatholic
Today, we honor this Maryland graduate by wearing patches featuring his initials pic.twitter.com/yrej7rXWwq
Former Terp Bruno Fernando notched the first double-double of his NBA career Sunday night.
The countdown to lacrosse season starts this week.
Maryland women's lacrosse assistant coach Caitlyn Phipps received a big honor over the weekend.
Maryland baseball took to the practice field for the first time in 2020.
The Terps gymnastics team continued their stellar start to the season, placing second in Columbus.
Terps take second place in Ohio.— Maryland Gymnastics (@TerpsGymnastics) January 25, 2020
Top Terps –
Vault: Barber, Rubio – 9.900
Bars: Barber – 9.900
Beam: Wright – 9.800
Floor: McClure, Silberman – 9.800
All-Around: Barber – 39.300#GymTerps || #FTT pic.twitter.com/TGZRtWhbli
Maryland tennis brought out the brooms against Coppin State Friday.