Festus Ezeli, Nigerian-born basketball player and a future legend in his own right, bade a warm farewell to legendary basketball player Kobe Bryant, Wednesday night, as the Los Angeles Lakers legend wraps up an illustrious career.
Ezeli, born in Nigeria, picked up the game in his teenage years before moving to the United States where he found fame playing for the Golden State Warriors. The 6’11 center credits Bryant as one of the reasons he was drawn to basketball in a note he wrote on social media.
Growing up In Nigeria, I wasn’t surrounded by a lot of basketball fans. Still, in a society way more soccer than basketball-friendly, I came to discover your name as my classmates would shoot pieces of paper in the trash bin yelling “KOBE!”. Before I knew the game, I knew your name. After I discovered the game, I have come to realize what you mean to Basketball. When I realized my love for the game, your passion became an inspiration for me. This is why it is only right that on THIS DAY that WE are chasing HISTORY I pay homage to you. You’re an inspiration to kids all around the world. Thank you for all you’ve done for The Game of Basketball #MambaDay
Bryant plays the final game of his twenty-year career on Wednesday night against the Utah Jazz at the Staples Center, Los Angeles, to draw the curtains on a rare and legendary career.