Kiefer Ravena was a 'student of Kobe's game'
Kiefer Ravena with Kobe Bryant in 1998
Instagram/Kiefer Ravena
Kiefer Ravena was a 'student of Kobe's game'
Luisa Morales ( - August 27, 2020 - 1:41pm

MANILA, Philippines — Kiefer Ravena had a chance to meet the late Kobe Bryant during his first-ever visit to Manila in 1998.

Bryant picked up the young Ravena and held him in his arms, posing for a photo with the future Ateneo basketball star wearing a Laker jersey.

"Be Epic," Bryant signed on the photo.

And that first interaction would be the beginning of Ravena's lifelong commitment to following Bryant's footsteps with his "Mamba Mentality".

"When I was four or five years old, una ko talaga siyang nakilala and di ko pa nga siya actually kilala nun, nanonood lang ako na kalaro niya yung dad ko," Ravena recalled during Nike's Mamba Mentality Live webinar last Monday.

"And from the get-go when I was watching him play, growing up I tried to follow his game, watch his highlights [and] just really be a student of Kobe's game. But more than anything else, it was his approach, it was his mamba mentality," he added.

Ravena shared that his consistent imitation and learning from Bryant helped him succeed in his basketball career.

He said that the Laker legend's fearlessness rubbed off on him, especially during times he had to take matters into his own hand.

"Having that mindset of him na di natatakot matalo, being fearless... all of those experiences that he had I was able to relate," Ravena said.

"Because I had my own personal experiences of really perfect timing and di ka pwede matakot talaga," he added.

While Bryant may have passed from this world to the next, athletes like Ravena himself continue to live the NBA legend's legacy in their own light.

In a way, Bryant's "Mamba Mentality" lives on.

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