Tennis Star Nick Kyrgios Wore Kobe Bryant Jersey to Final Australian Open Match

Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among the nine victims of the Calabasas helicopter crash Sunday

Athletes around the world are continuing to honor the life and legacy of Kobe Bryant.

One day after the NBA legend was killed at age 41 in a helicopter crash, tennis champion Nick Kyrgios paid tribute to Bryant during his match-up against Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open.

The Australian Open’s Twitter account shared photos of Kyrgios, 24, sporting Bryant’s No. 8 Los Angeles Lakers jersey as he stepped out onto Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena.

According to CNN, Kyrgios was “close to tears” when making his entrance.

Nadal, 33, ultimately came out of the match victorious. Afterward, the Spanish professional athlete also honored Bryant by donning a Lakers cap and called on the crowd to give a round of applause for the late NBA legend, CNN reported.

Nick Kyrgios of Australia pays respect to NBA legend Kobe Bryant
Chaz Niell/Getty

“What can I say, I woke up this morning with this terrible news,” Nadal said in his on-court interview, per CNN. “It’s super sad. He was one of the greatest sportsmen in history. He deserves a big round of applause.”

“It’s one of these days that you want to forget but of course Kobe Bryant will be in our hearts and in our minds for the rest of our lives,” Nadal added.

Kyrgios, while wearing Bryant’s jersey, also spoke to reporters after the match about his legacy.

“I never met Kobe but basketball’s practically my life, I watch it every day and I’ve been following it for as long as I remember … it’s tough, it’s horrible news,” he said, according to CNN.

“If anything it motivated me,” Kyrgios added. “If you look at the things he stood for and what he wanted to be remembered by, I felt like – if anything -it helped me tonight.”

Nick Kyrgios of Australia pays respect to NBA legend Kobe Bryant
Nick Kyrgios. Quinn Rooney/Getty

Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, nicknamed “GiGi,” were on their way to a youth basketball game in Thousand Oaks with parents and players from the team when the helicopter crashed amid foggy conditions and burst into flames in Calabasas.

A number of prominent sports figures, including LeBron James, Lamar Odom, Derek Jeter, Michael Jordan, and Shaquille O’Neal, have also shared their reactions to Bryant’s death, as well as posted tributes to the athletes.

Bryant and Gianna are survived by Vanessa, Kobe’s 37-year-old wife, and their daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.

The crash also took the lives of Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton, one of Gianna’s teammates on the Mamba Sports Academy girls basketball team; Christina Mauser, a girls basketball coach at Harbor Day School in Orange County and a coach for the Mamba Academy; John Altobelli, the head baseball coach at Orange Coast College, his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa; and pilot Ara Zobayan of Huntington Beach.

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