Jimmy Alapag met 'Kobe, the Father' in his last visit to Manila
Jimmy Alapag reflected on Kobe Bryant's role as a father and how it impacted him
FILE/USA Today
Jimmy Alapag met 'Kobe, the Father' in his last visit to Manila
Luisa Morales (Philstar.com) - August 26, 2020 - 9:53am

MANILA, Philippines — The late Kobe Bryant is known for a lot of things, including his five championship rings, his iconic "Mamba mentality and his Oscar winning film.

But perhaps one of the more underrated roles Bryant played in his life was his job as a father.

Bryant made his mark as a great father to his four daughters, especially to his 13-year-old Gianna, who unfortunately perished along with him that fateful January morning.

Former Gilas mainstay and now head coach of Alab Pilipinas Jimmy Alapag experienced first hand Bryant's passion for fatherhood.

It was an experience that stuck with him during "The Black Mamba's" final visit to Manila back in 2016.

Alapag spoke about the encounter during the Mamba Mentality Live webinar hosted by Nike last Monday, August 24.

"Retiring from the game, and really seeing the transition that he made to fatherhood was something that really resonated with me," Alapag narrated.

"During that last visit, he had a chance to meet my son, he had a chance to meet my daughter and I remember when he saw my son he said, 'Oh man, is this your kid?', and after the game he had a chance to see my daughter as well, he said, 'You have two?," he added.

The memory stuck with Alapag, connecting with Bryant not just as a player but also as a father.

The encounter not only meant a lot to Alapag for his life on the court, but also off with his role in the family.

"Just seeing how much he cared about fatherhood, and having that same passion he had for the game.... [it's] something that meant a lot to me," he said.

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