Sportress of Blogitude

New Gym Named After Kobe, Hopefully Was Not Built On Armenian Burial Grounds

You know, for obvious reasons, in light of recent developments. Although I’m not even sure there is such a thing as an Armenian burial grounds. Huh.

Either way, Kobe Bryant (above, hugging teammate Derek Fisher during the event) got to take a trip down memory line yesterday while in his hometown of Philadelphia as his former school, Lower Merion High, a school he led to the 1996 PIAA state basketball championship, honored his commitment to the school as well as the generous donation of $411,000 he recently made by naming a gym after him.

Although 45 minutes late because of inclement weather, 4,000 people – some paying upwards of $250 to be there – were on hand to pay tribute to the local superstar. Several guests were on hand to honor Bryant, including his old coach, Gregg Downer, and Derek Fisher.

Via Philly.com:

Bryant’s coach at Lower Merion, Gregg Downer, even pointed out one crucial, little-known, fact: that Bryant still wears his Lower Merion shorts under his Lakers shorts.

“When the game is over, no more cameras, lights are off, he’s not the kind of guy who’d typically sign up for something like this,” explained Fisher. “This is not his kind of thing. . . . That’s the part of Kobe that I think is so greatly appreciated.”

Bryant himself spoke only briefly, admitting that public speaking made him nervous.

“This is where I came from. This is where I grew up,” Bryant said. “I didn’t go to college. This is my university. This is where my memories lie.”

Bryant concluded: “I’m going to calmly put myself out of my misery and slide back to my seat.”

While it’s all well and good that Bryant made a considerable donation to his alma mater and was appropriately honored, I have but one question: what is he doing to help the plight of Canadian elephants? That’s what I would like to know.

Lower Merion High names a gym after Kobe Bryant [Philly.com]