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Saquon Barkley, NFL Star Running Back, Had an Impactful Kobe Bryant Moment Without Ever Meeting Him

Saquon Barkley (Left) Kobe Bryant (Right).

“Unfortunately I never got to meet him, but he had a big impact on me and the type of player I hopefully continue to be." -Saquon Barkley, NFL Star Running Back

LOS ANGELES, CA, UNITED STATES, January 31, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ -- For a short time last July, Saquon Barkley wasn’t the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, the face of the Giants or a television commercial star. Things were simpler and quieter, but Barkley still had something to strive for; to be like his childhood sports hero, Kobe Bryant. Although the two were in different sports, Barkley looked up to Kobe as an athlete and strived to be better in any way just like Kobe.

He was a Kobe Bryant fan from day one. He poured out his respect in a video for the Uninterrupted. Due to this, he just had his boyhood idol tweet at him (“Love my brotha #yourturn #mambamentality”) for the whole world to see. “He responded when I was in bed and I screamed,” Barkley told The Post. This was one of the most exciting things to happen to Barkley.

Bryant’s death in a helicopter crash Sunday, along with his daughter Gianna and seven other victims, shook up the entire sports world. Barkley had to take a couple of moments of silence during his discussion with The Post on Super Bowl 2020 Radio Row to control his emotions when discussing the late 41-year-old NBA star.

“Big inspiration to me,” Barkley said. “Unfortunately I never got to meet him, but he had a big impact on me and the type of player I hopefully continue to be. I love everything he is about: The Mamba Mentality.” Now what does that really mean to Barkley?

“You have a relentless approach,” Barkley said. “You find something you are passionate about and want to be great at. And you don’t just talk about it, you go and do it. You get to the point where you get others around you to do it, too. I think he did that the best out of anyone.” Bryant was the epitome of a hard work ethic for something you are passionate about and as such elevated his game so much that he became a five-time NBA champion and the fourth-leading scorer in NBA history. “Try to go 10 times harder in everything you are doing,” Barkley said, “because you never know when it can be taken from you.”

“It’s been amazing how everyone has responded and the impact that he had – the impact on kids,” Barkley contiued. “I said on my video, ‘I hope one day I can even have half the impact you have on people.’ It’s sad to see him go, and rest in peace to his daughter, Gigi. Devastating.” This was another chord that struck personally to Barkley, as he is a young 22 year-old father with a soon to be 2 year-old daughter.

“It definitely hits you on a whole other level,” Barkley said. “The first thing I wanted to do was call my daughter and tell her I love her. You should never take anything for granted in this world. You have to try to live life to the fullest.” #Girldad, a new viral Twitter hashtag, exploded in the last few days. It came from “SportsCenter” anchor Elle Duncan who told on-air about meeting Bryant while pregnant and the pride he displayed in his four daughters. Gianna was 13 and one of four daughters Bryant had. “Those little girls that you have,” Barkley said, “your heart is different.” Barkley will carry Bryant’s message forward to preserve that Mamba Mentality in all aspects of his life.

Aurora DeRose
Michael Levine Media
+1 310-396-6090
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