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Kobe Bryant's Time In Montana Noted in Tribute

Kobe Bryant attempting a free throw.
Alexandra Walt
Flickr (CC0 1.0)
On Feb. 24, Kobe Bryant and his daughter who died in a helicopter crash the previous month.

On Feb. 24,  the world celebrated NBA superstar Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, who died last month with seven others in a plane crash.  

Some 20,000 people packed the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the home of the L.A. Lakers known as “the house Kobe built,” for the 2 hour tribute.

Current L.A. Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka was Bryant’s former agent and best friend. He remembered a vacation their two families took to Montana.

"My family and the Bryants went on camping or I should say 'glamping' trip to Montana. We canoed and rode horses, went flying fishing and river rafting, and rode on a stagecoach to campfire dinner under the stars. At each turn Kobe made everything an adventure, especially for the kids. And, of course, with all the wilderness activities we did, they had to do them to the nth degree. If it was fly fishing, we had to learn how to tie flies our own flies and fish standing in a stream with heavy wader boots on. No short cuts. Kobe’s enthusiasm and joy for all things life made that trip one for lifetime," Pelinka said.

Since Bryant’s death last month many in Montana involved in college basketball and the media remember the player, Olympic gold medalist, businessman, coach, friend and family man with fondness.

Kay Erickson has been working in broadcasting in Billings for more than 20 years. She spent well over a decade as news assignment editor at KTVQ-TV before joining the staff at YPR. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, with a degree in broadcast journalism. Shortly after graduation she worked in Great Falls where she was one of the first female sports anchor and reporter in Montana.