Sportress of Blogitude

Stephen Curry credits Kobe Bryant for interest in growing women’s hoops

Kobe Bryant developed into a staunch advocate for promoting the growth of women’s basketball over the years, and Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry credits the late Los Angeles Lakers icon for inspiring him to do the same.

Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of Bryant’s death along with daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., and the NBA community and beyond has been in mourning ever since.

In honor of the late icon’s influence on the game of basketball in a broader sense beyond his on-court excellence, Curry addressed Kobe’s role in raising the profile of women’s hoops.

“The fact that you have a guy like Kob, that was lending his platform, his voice, resources, his time to champion the women’s game, that obviously is a huge encouragement to continue that mission,” says Curry, who says his efforts were partially inspired by Bryant’s, per Howard Beck of Sports Illustrated. “A lot of people really appreciate it more because of how Kobe celebrated and supported the game while he was here.”

Bryant’s devotion to women’s sports presumably was inspired to a large degree by having four daughters. He even served as the coach of Gianna’s AAU team in 2019. More broadly, Bryant frequently highlighted the successful on-court exploits of prominent women’s players on social media.

Curry, who also has two young daughters along with a son, took time in 2018 to respond to a nine-year-old girl’s letter about how his popular Under Armour Curry 5 sneakers did not come in girl sizes. The Warriors star pledged to “fix the issue” and used the situation as a springboard to promise something special on International Women’s Day in 2019, a vow which he came through on when the day arrived.

There unsurprisingly has been no shortage of tributes, remembrances and memorials in tribute to Bryant since his passing last year. It’s possible Curry’s comments might have been the one that would have made Kobe the proudest.