Kobe Bean Bryant was born August 23, 1978 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is the son of Joe “Jellybean” Bryant and Pamela Cox Bryant. Joe Bryant is a former Philadelphia 76ers player and Los Angeles Sparks head coach. Bryant is the youngest of three children and his parents only son. Bryant spent much of his childhood in Italy. The family moved there for his father’s basketball career. Bryant attended high in the United States. He completed High School at Lower Merion High School in the Philadelphia Suburb of Lower Merion.
Bryant’s SAT score of 1080 would have enabled him to receive a basketball scholarship to multiple colleges. However, at the age of seventeen, Bryant went directly to the NBA. He was only the sixth player in NBA history to go directly from high school to the pros. He would have chosen Duke University had he decided to go to college first.
In 1996, Bryant was the third overall draft pick for the Charlotte Hornets. On July 1, 1996, a trade was made for the Los Angeles Lakers to obtain Bryant’s draft rights. Only being seventeen, Bryant’s parents had to cosign his contract with the Lakers. Bryant was able to sign the contract on his own when he turned eighteen before the season began.
At the time of contract signing, Bryant was the youngest player to ever play in the NBA. His career with the Lakers has spanned over a decade now, and Bryant has become one of the most famous and successful basketball players of all time.
Bryant led the NBA in scoring during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons. In 2006, Bryant scored a career high 81 points against the Toronto Raptors. That is the second highest number of points scored in a game in NBA history, behind the legendary player, Wilt Chamberlain. Bryant was awarded the Most Valuable player award in the 2007-08 regular season and led the Lakers to the 2008 NBA Finals. In the 2008 Summer Olympics, Bryant won a gold medal as a team member on the U.S. Men’s Basketball Team. Bryant also led the Lakers to two more NBA championships in 2009 and 2010.
Currently, Bryant is married Vanessa Laine and they have two children.
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