California's Orange County Declares August 24 Kobe Bryant Day in Honor of Late Resident

The date was chosen because it features both of Kobe Bryant's former jersey numbers, 8 and 24

Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant. Photo: Harry How/Getty

Orange County supervisors have voted to make August 24 Kobe Bryant Day in honor of the late basketball star, who lived in Newport Beach, California.

August 24 was chosen because it features the two jersey numbers, 8 and 24, Bryant wore during his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. The date is also one day after his birthday.

County Board Chairwoman Michelle Steel said Bryant was a “treasured member of our community” who “inspired so many men and women to pursue their dreams and never give up,” according to a recording of the Tuesday board meeting.

Bryant died on January 26 in a tragic helicopter crash that also killed his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others — Payton Chester, 13, Sarah Chester, 46, Alyssa Altobelli, 14, Keri Altobelli, 46, John Altobelli, 56, Christina Mauser, 38, and pilot Ara Zobayan, 50.

Kobe Bryant
Allen Berezovsky/Getty

The resolution named all nine victims of the crash and said the day will honor Bryant’s legacy “by engaging in community building, helping young people in need, encouraging aspiring youth to follow their dreams, and living by Bryant’s words: ‘The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do,’” according to the Los Angeles Times.

During the meeting, supervisor Don Wagner said the resolution “is a good reminder that an individual’s life should not be judged by its worst day,” seeming to acknowledge the NBA player’s 2003 sexual assault case.

“Kobe Bryant’s life, like that of each one of us who ever lived, presents things of note to celebrate and to condemn,” Wagner said. “Kobe Bryant, again like all of us, faced challenges, challenges of his own making and challenges thrown at him by life. He overcame them. Today, we celebrate the effort in overcoming those challenges.”

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“So we strike a balance, and on balance here the good as reflected in the resolution brought forward by the chairman is absolutely worth celebrating,” he added.

The vote from the Orange County supervisors comes four years after the neighboring Los Angeles County similarly voted to make Aug. 24 Kobe Bryant Day.

“Among his astonishing list of accomplishments, Kobe Bryant’s 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers ranks him No. 1 all-time for NBA players who played for a single franchise, and ‘Kobe Bryant Day’ is the City of Los Angeles’ way of thanking him for his single-minded dedication to excellence, the fans and the entire City and region of Los Angeles,” L.A. City Councilman Huizar said in a statement in 2016, the LA Times reported.

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