Gifts for Mom, Grandparents, Besties and YOU🎄 ➔

A sports legend has left us. Kobe Bryant’s tragic death at the age of 41 has left a gaping hole in the hearts of basketball fans everywhere. It’s astonishing. I didn’t personally know Kobe, but my respect for him runs deep. Much like Kobe, I love the game of basketball. I started playing at an early age. I watched my older cousins and my older brother play in state championship games. We were a basketball family. I could often be found dunking Nerf basketballs in my room or shooting hoops in the driveway while snow and wind pelted me in the face.

I watched Kobe enter the league as a wiry 18-year-old. I was only 14, but I could see that he was different. His tenacity, his drive, his style…it was a joy to watch. I grew up watching him play. He represents an era of basketball that was very special to me.

Related: All Sports Parents Should Read This Patrick Mahomes Letter With Their Kids

Coming out of college I had a dream to work in the NBA. Never having the skills to be on the court, I still wanted to be close to the game. I lived my dream during a stretch in the mid 2000s when I worked for the NBA’s Houston Rockets. That’s where I watched Kobe play live – including during the 2006 All-Star game. It was incredible.

I watched TV coverage as he celebrated five NBA Championships, won multiple MVPs, scored 81 points in a single game, and I marveled during his last NBA game when he posted 60 points in a farewell win over the Utah Jazz. What an iconic way to finish an iconic career.

Like I said…I love the game of basketball. Kobe loved it and lived it. After retiring, he even won an Oscar Award for writing a short film titled “Dear Basketball”. What he wrote helped describe what many of us basketball junkies feel.

I played through the sweat and hurt Not because challenge called me But because YOU called me. I did everything for YOU Because that’s what you do When someone makes you feel as Alive as you’ve made me feel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziUc0OCDmoU&t=6s

That’s Kobe talking to the game of basketball. But now, that’s the way fans feel about Kobe. Watching him play made us feel alive. When he retired, we lost a little bit of that feeling. And now that he’s gone those emotions are stirred back up.

Kobe was known for his burning desire to be better every day. Yes, he made mistakes. We all do. But he didn’t let his mistakes define him. Rather, he kept trying to be better. A better husband, a better player, a better father. In his days after retiring from the game, he spent a lot of time coaching his daughters. He could be seen courtside at NBA games, alongside his daughters, sharing his “Mamba Mentality” and love of the game with them.

He had become a fierce supporter of women’s basketball. Because of that, I had yet another reason to respect Kobe. I have daughters too. And I’m now sharing my love of the game with them. I’m filled with pride to see them learn and play the game.

Kobe Bryant has died, but his legacy forever lives on. It lives on through the kids who still sport his number 24 jersey. It lives on through the dads like me who pass on legendary stories and a fiery love of the game on to our own kids. It lives on through the countless number of players and people who he inspired and encouraged along the way.

It lives on. Rest in peace, Mamba.

 

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Kyle Means

Kyle Means is the Director of Marketing for the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He enjoyed a fulfilling career in Sports & Entertainment prior to his work in higher education. Past stops include HuskerVision, Houston Rockets/Toyota Center, and the Tri-City Storm/Viaero Event Center. Kyle left the sports biz in 2014 to pursue a career more focused on marketing where he can use a combination of strategic and creative skills. Plus, he now has a few more nights and weekends to spend with his awesome family including his wife (HerViewFromHome founder) Leslie Means, their two daughters Ella and Grace and son, Keithan. Kyle still enjoys watching and playing a variety of sports. The competitive, yet unifying, nature of sports is a strangely beautiful concept that he loves. When he’s not enhancing the brand at UNK, spending time with family or watching/playing sports, Kyle can usually be found volunteering at First Lutheran Church where likes to display a strong faith and give back to the community.

Being the Mother of an Athlete Means Learning to Let Go

In: Motherhood, Sports
mom watching sports game

This is my post. Has been for years. I’ve held this spot sacred, watching you play for so long. Yet as you grow older, I find myself mourning the day I‘ll finally have to give it up. I’ve worn a path here, pacing back and forth with worry. I’ve packed the earth here, jumping up and down with excitement. I’ve found friends here, locking arms so tight that they’ve become bonded like family. I’ve made room in my heart for teammates here, cheering as if they were my own children. I’ve learned to respect, to love, and to offer grace here,...

Keep Reading

Hey Mama Signing Your Boy Up For Little League, You’re About to Become a Baseball Mom

In: Motherhood, Sports
youth baseball player standing at the fence

Hey mama, I see you’re signing your boy up for Little League, so I feel I should warn you . . . You’re signing up for more than endless sun-beaten hours, sitting on rickety old bleachers at a dust-swept ball field. You’re also signing up for awkward first encounters with new parents. For a backseat full of competitively rowdy (and stinky) boys. RELATED: I Hope You Love Youth Sports As Much As I Did For a pretty penny in shiny new equipment. And for a lifetime supply of OxiClean with a membership to the “Where did you leave your jersey?”...

Keep Reading

Youth Sports Are Ordinary, Which is Why They’ll Always Be Special To Me

In: Living, Sports
girl and father walking to sports

It’s a normal thing, I guess. I’m sure millions of kids around the world play youth sports. Hundreds play in our town alone. Moms and dads pay the fees and rearrange their lives to shuttle their little people around town. They juggle late bedtimes and drive-thru dinners in the name of letting their kids be on a team. Then they watch as their children learn what it feels like to push past their comfort zones. Dads haul chairs to the sidelines while moms tie shoes. Tears are dried, pep talks are given, and attitudes are checked. Volunteer coaches wrangle squirrelly...

Keep Reading

8 Classic Outdoor Games to Take You Back to Your Childhood

In: Fatherhood, Sports

Whew. We’ve made it through the time change (can we just get rid of Daylight Saving Time already?) and spring is officially on its way, which means two things for dads: March Madness is in full swing, and it’s still light enough at the end of the day to get outside and run off some energy with the kids after work. Honestly, we could all use the fresh air and endorphins after a long, cold winter. And sure, you can always kick a ball around together, or shoot some hoops, or even try one of these great ideas for a...

Keep Reading

Here’s to the Unsung Heroes of the Super Bowl

In: Sports

It’s not always about the big stars wearing the jerseys. Sometimes it’s a story about a man from a city in the Rust Belt about to turn 40. A man, who at one point, wondered if he’d make it to 26. My twin brother. We grew up in Saginaw, Michigan with humble parents who, above all else, wanted us to be happy. But at age 25, my twin discovered he had cancer ravaging inside of him. RELATED: We Should All Try to Live Like We Have Cancer He had to fight. And fight, he did. After that victory, that’s where...

Keep Reading

Cheetos Delivers With Super Bowl Commercial That Every Man Can Relate To

In: Sports

“Just tell him it wasn’t you.” That’s the advice Grammy-winning singer Shaggy gives actress Mila Kunis when she’s confronted by husband Ashton Kutcher for stealing his snack in a 2021 Super Bowl ad that every man on the planet can relate to. The Jamaican reggae icon teamed up with the celebrity couple (who are married in real life!) to reprise the singer’s popular single from 2000, “It Wasn’t Me” . . . but with a cheesy twist. Literally. The catchy commercial follows the threesome as they remix Shaggy’s megahit and adapt the lyrics to show Kunis sneaking around the house...

Keep Reading

The World Lost a Giant in Hank Aaron, But His Legacy Lives On

In: Sports

“I never wanted them to forget Babe Ruth. I just wanted them to remember Henry Aaron.” And we do. And we always will. The world lost a giant today. Real-life baseball hero, Hank Aaron, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982 by a resounding 97.8% of sportswriters throughout the country, has died at the age of 86. I have ordered flags to fly at half-staff to honor the passing of @Braves legend Hank Aaron. May generations of Georgians continue to be inspired by his groundbreaking career and tremendous impact on our state and nation. #RIPHammer pic.twitter.com/GrriaQQ5Fc...

Keep Reading

Girl Dads, Your Daughters Need Your Help to Rise Above the Haters

In: Sports

Did everyone just forget already? Did we forget the inspiration that Kobe Bryant left for all of the #GirlDads? The untimely and tragic death of Kobe along with his daughter, Gigi, in January, left us in shock. It left many people sickened as a sports legend departed this world too soon. Sometimes through tragedy comes a silver lining—Kobe was heralded for his adoration of his kids. He was a dad to four daughters. As a result, he was a fierce supporter of women’s athletics. His death put a bright spotlight on that part of his life as #GirlDad became a...

Keep Reading

1% Better Every Day—What We Can All Learn From the First Ironman With Down Syndrome

In: Sports

It’s always refreshing to come across a sports story that pulls at the heartstrings and restores your faith in humanity, especially while news headlines can be so bleak and depressing lately. This past Saturday, a very special journey culminated in an incredible triumph that hit us right in the feels. Special Olympics athlete Chris Nikic crossed the finish line of the Ironman Florida competition in Panama City this weekend to become the very first person with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman triathlon. For the record (literally), an Ironman competition consists of a 2.4-mile swim, then a 112-mile bike ride,...

Keep Reading

A Surprise Touchdown at a High School Football Game Shows the Best in Humanity

In: Sports

It’s FALL, y’all, and even COVID can’t keep Friday Night Lights down: most districts in America’s heartland have found a way to keep football games going, even if they aren’t doing in-person school. For the most part, the injection of community spirit that high school football brings has been a real winner, even if there are fewer fans in the stands and they’re all wearing masks. Crisp air, bright lights, and the snap of the pigskin are always special, no matter what. But. You’re about to see what is arguably one of the most uplifting football moments of all time....

Keep Reading