LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — “Complete shock. Looking at TMZ as the source, I looked at it as the possibility of hoax,” said Mina Youssef, a Las Vegas valley Lakers fan.
The news of Kobe’s death leaves many locals in disbelief. Kobe jerseys were spotted in droves at the UNLV basketball game on Sunday.
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“I wore his jersey, I needed to make sure that I’m representing him," Youssef said. "I’m going to do this more often. That’s how big of an inspiration he was.”
An inspiration that was felt throughout Las Vegas, where he attended Aces games with his daughter.
“Kobe loved Las Vegas. He would come here regularly. He would come here regularly for Las Vegas Aces games and when he brought his daughter’s basketball team and come and meet the team.”
The Aces say the team was in deep shock, with the team releasing a statement recognizing his NBA achievements.
The statement says in part he “was a role model off the court as well using his platform to do good around the world.”
Aces player A’ja Wilson tweeted “I literally cannot process this,” while another player, Jackie Young, tweeted "so sad" with a broken heart emoji.
UNLV also sent condolences to Kobe’s family, and held a moment of silence before Sunday’s men’s basketball game.
Local sports radio host TC Martin says Kobe’s death transcends sports but will always be remembered for one thing: “The bottom line is, he was one of the greatest basketball players of all-time,” Martin said.