JMU women's basketball team discusses legacy of Kobe Bryant

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- The news of the deaths of NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna was reported during the James Madison women's basketball team's game on Sunday.

James Madison women's basketball head coach Sean O'Regan discusses the legacy of Kobe Bryant.

While the Dukes had a game to play, and topped Northeastern 67-54, they discussed Bryant's legacy after the game.

"When I heard about it, my heart stopped, like it was kind of like a family member of mine," senior guard Kamiah Smalls said. "I don't know Kobe personally at all, but I do know that anytime that man stepped out on the court, he gave his all. Even in his retirement he continued to give back to the game in so many ways. It's kind of upsetting, it's sad, it's emotional for me."

"The big thing for me is the fact that he did so much for women's basketball as a whole," senior guard Lexie Barrier said. "So, yes, he has a daughter, but he made it a point to go out of his way to recognize these female athletes that are doing big things out here. Women's basketball is not always recognized as much as men's basketball, so coming from such a legend, I really think that meant a lot. So, seeing both of them, it's terrible."

"You add that with his daughter, that hits home for me personally," head coach Sean O'Regan said. "I think that he's done so much for basketball itself, let alone what he was getting ready to do for women's basketball with his daughter coming up, and I hope somebody else can take that lead because i think what he was doing was really cool. it's hard man."