7 Years After Saving Her Friends From a Kobe Bryant Drill, “One Arm Mamba” From Philippines Boasts Rare NBA Inspiration Story

Published 09/06/2023, 1:59 PM EDT

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Turning childhood agony into hope, the ‘One-armed Mamba’ is an inspiration to every hooper. At the young age of ten, Kat Tan tragically lost her left arm in a roller-coaster accident. The Philippine-born hooper did not let this define her as she chose to play competitive basketball from a young age. She inspired millions of people around the world with her story but who was her inspiration?

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Tan mentioned in her previous interviews that her father was a big fan of Michael Jordan but she was the biggest fan of the late Lakers legend.

Late Lakers legend’s beautiful relationship with the ‘One-Armed Mamba’

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Kat Tan a.k.a the ‘One-Armed Mamba’ drew inspiration from the late Kobe Bryant. Her tragic accident happened the same year Kobe got drafted into the NBA. She mentioned in an earlier interview that during her recovery, she watched as many Laker games as she could with her father.

A year later, Kat Tan had the rare opportunity to meet Kobe Bryant for the first time when he visited the Philippines. They met again in 2011. They met one more time in 2016 when Kat was invited to participate in one of Bryant’s basketball camps. Kat showcased her ‘Mamba Mentality’ when she passed Bryant’s challenge to her with flying colors.

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Kobe Bryant challenged the young basketball player to a drill. He said, “You can take one shot from the three-point line. If you make it, you (and everyone in the gym) don’t have to run. If you miss it, everyone (in the gym) has to do the running session.“. The entire gym erupted in celebration as the ‘One Armed Mamba’ rose to the occasion and sank the three-ball in.

 

In an interview of the Bryant from his playing days, he mentioned, “So like today, meeting ‘Kat Kat’ again. Seeing her after so many years, inspires me to push more.”. The ‘Black Mamba’ explains, “Because I know she’s pulling inspiration from what I am doing.“. Not many can boast to have inspired the Bryant but the inspiring basketball journey of Tan is an exception.

What is Kat Tan doing now?

Kat Tan continues to be an inspiring role model for every hooper in the world. She is the voice of thousands of differently abled athletes who struggle to find inspiration in their sports journey. Tan often posts videos on her Instagram of her playing basketball with other differently abled basketball players.

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Kobe Bryant’s ‘Mamba Mentality’ transcends the physical game of basketball. It has inspired millions of people around the world to work harder in their field and never take “no” for an answer.

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Mirroring the late Laker legend’s “No excuses” attitude to the game, Kat Tan currently coaches with a team and actively trains. She hopes to inspire athletes across the world through her story, the same story that even inspired the great Kobe Bryant.

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What are your thoughts on the ‘One Armed Mamba’ inspiring basketball journey? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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Written by:

Akhil Chakravarthy

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Akhil is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the NBA for more than a decade and represented his state at the National level. To hone his understanding of the inner workings of the game, he closely follows the analysis of popular NBA insiders and reporters like Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania.
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Edited by:

Sherjeel Malik

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