Kobe Bryant wishes the Staples Center crowd farewell after scoring 60 points in the final game of his NBA career.

Kobe Bryant wishes the Staples Center crowd farewell after scoring 60 points in the final game of his NBA career.

Anyone who knows me, knows I can't sleep in. As soon as I wake up, I have to shower or do something in order to feel like my day is productive.

But January 26, was different. That day didn’t feel right. As I scrolled through social media I was shocked and confused by the initial tweets speculating Kobe Bryant, the player who inspired myself and so many of us to be better, had died.

In 2016 I had the amazing privilege of seeing one of my many idols participate in his craft. It was amazing to watch one of my superstars do what he does best.

I didn't know why I was so drawn to him, however something about him made me study him, how he analyzed what he loved to do and perform it effectively and how he carried himself off the court with his family and after his career ended.

For many black children, we adore well-known people who we see ourselves in. We identify with these people and idolize them to an extent. For me, it was Kobe.

The way he was meticulous and consumed with what he loved inspired me.

Whether it was winning an Oscar for his short-film or winning five championships in his 20 year career; coaching his daughter Gianna to beat her opponent in dominant fashion; Kobe made me model some of my work ethic and life around what he had already established.

So, thank you to Kobe for having a five-foot, two-inch child who had no business playing basketball, emulate your fadeaway, biting his jersey and mimicking your underhand layup.

It's been nearly a month since Kobe passed, and I still can't sleep in. I never thought I would have to get used to waking up in a world without Kobe Bryant.

Kobe, you will be missed. 

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