‘Saw Greatness in Us’: WNBA Star Chiney Ogwumike Reveals Her Heart-Warming Interaction With Kobe Bryant

Published 07/09/2021, 12:30 PM EDT
NEWBURY PARK, CA – MARCH 28: SiriusXM Presents A Town Hall With NBA Legend Kobe Bryant at the Mamba Sports Academy on March 28, 2019 in Newbury Park, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for SiriusXM)


Kobe Bryant is a model of inspiration to every basketball player in the world. Other than his legacy in the sport, he is also an off-field legend. The 5-time NBA champion was one of the biggest supporters of women’s basketball. His contributions to WNBA are still highly appreciated by top players in the league.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Kobe was a long-time fan of the WNBA. He took steps for the growth of the league, showed up in WNBA matches, and supported them like nobody else.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Chiney Ogwumike reminisces about her letter to Kobe

A 2-time WNBA All-star and a famous figure Chiney Ogwumike looks up to Kobe in a godly resolve. In conversation with guest host Wanda Sykes on Jimmy Kimmel Live show, Chiney narrated her first encounter with him that turned out to be like a dream. It happened a long time back when she was a freshman at Stanford University and her team was playing at the Pac-10 tournament at Staples Center.

DIVE DEEPER

Report: LeBron James Can Reach His ‘Biggest Milestone’ and Become a Billionaire by End of 2021

20 days ago

Well, the rules stated that the top team will get the home locker room. So, the Los Angeles Sparks forward melted in excitement and decided to write a letter to Kobe if her team made it to a win. And fortunately, Chiney’s team did! I got the game scouting report, ripped off a corner, wrote a little like, ‘Dear Kobe, thanks for lending us your locker room. We’re rooting for you,'” Ogwumike further quoted.

“About a week later we’re at Stanford University, coach Tara VanDerveer goes after practice, ‘Hey everybody! Chiney today I got a call from the Lakers and Kobe sent a message saying he got your letter and he wishes us good luck for the NCAA tournament’. That truly was the attention to detail that Kobe Bryant had. He saw greatness in us before we even knew it in ourselves.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The utter respect for Kobe Bryant

Chiney has been dedicated to the league since 2014 and continues to do so with the Sparks. And, being one of the youngest to become an NBA analyst, she has touched heights on and off the court.

Ogwumike aptly described Kobe Bryant‘s significance in her life through this heart-warming incident. She’s just one out of the many who feel this way for the Black Mamba. His love and affection for the sport and for those who played it touched the topmost level every time. Without a doubt, that is a story to remember for Chiney Ogwumike.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

WATCH THIS STORY: Kevin Durant vs Kobe Bryant – First Playoff Duel in 2010

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Pavni Ahuja

438 articles

Pavni Ahuja is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Housing a keen interest in sports journalism, she is pursuing an undergraduate Journalism degree from Christ University. Pavni is an ardent fan of the NBA, with prior district-level playing experience in basketball.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

essentiallysports's Stories