LUBBOCK, Texas — On Tuesday, Texas Tech basketball coach Chris Beard was asked at his weekly press conference about the passing of NBA legend Kobe Bryant.
Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles on Sunday along with eight other people, including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.
In the presser, Beard took a couple minutes to talk about how Bryant impacted him and influenced the game of basketball.
He said he even remembers his first professional game.
“I remember vividly his first NBA game,” Beard said. “I think it was 1996 and it was November…I just remember watching this 18-year-old guy out there playing NBA minutes and all the things you had heard about him.”
After a two-decade career, he said he remembers cheering him on his final game too.
“Twenty years later, I vividly remember the last game,” Beard said. “You know, cheering for him in the game where he scored 60.”
Use the video player to hear Beard’s full answer.