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Saquon Barkley, NFL Star Running Back, Loves Being a ‘Girl Dad’ Like Childhood Hero and NBA Legend Kobe Bryant

Saquon Barkley holding his daughter, Jada

"To be able to be a girl dad, to be able to have that same mindset that Kobe instilled in his daughters, hopefully I can do the same thing to my daughter."

LOS ANGELES, CA, UNITED STATES, February 6, 2020 / -- Saquon Barkley, New York Giants running back, loves being a “girl dad” like Kobe Bryant. The new trending topic has been widespread ever since the untimely death of NBA legend, Kobe Bryant. On Sunday, SportsCenter anchor Elle Duncan recalled a conversation she once had with Bryant, in which he told her how much he loved being a girl dad with his four daughters. "I would have five more girls if I could," Elle Duncan recalled Bryant saying. "I'm a girl dad." Thus, the span of a trending phrase.

Since the video of Duncan sharing the story went viral, “#Girldad” has been trending. Barkley even told NFL Gameday how much he loves being a “girl dad.” Unfortunately, one of his daughters -- Gianna "Gigi" Bryant -- was also on that helicopter with him along with seven other victims. For Barkley, and many others with children, it was a tragedy that made him want to call his daughter to tell her he loved her. And just like Bryant, he's proud to be a girl dad.

"Yes, I'm a girl dad," he told NFL Gameday with a smile. "Had me a little girl, Jada Clare Barkley. She's my everything, she's my world. Obviously, with the devastating event that happened with Kobe and Gigi, one of the first things that came to my mind was wanting to just pick up the phone and tell my daughter I love her because you never know when your time in this world, and you never know how long your life will be. So, you definitely want to let the people that you love know that you love them. For me, that one special person to me is my daughter."

Barkley always looked up to Kobe in every aspect as an athlete. He talked about Bryant instilling his “Mamba Mentality” into his daughters and how Barkley now aspires to do the same with his daughter. The mentality wasn't something Bryant kept to himself, as he wanted his daughter to be thinking the same way at all times. Barkley called it "a relentless approach," and it's one he wishes to supply Jada with as well. "To be able to be a girl dad, to able to hopefully have that same mindset that Kobe had, that Kobe instilled in his daughters, hopefully I can do the same thing to my daughter and hopefully my daughters to come," Barkley said.

In July 2019, Barkley was selected to narrate UNINTERRUPTED’s short called “Dear Kobe… ”. In the short Barkley says in dedication to Kobe, “Your legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of athletes and fans around the world… the Mamba Mentality legacy will live on forever.” Of course, these words were powerful and had so much meaning at the time of saying, but due to such untimely events recently are now even more important. Barkley never met Bryant, even though he received recognition from him when the short was released. Bryant tweeted, “Love my brotha #yourturn #mambamentality.” Barkley was surprised and ecstatic to gain attention from his hero

Bryant and Barkley may not have played the same sport professionally, but that "Mamba Mentality" that Bryant famously played with throughout his career is something Barkley tries to emulate in his own game. Bryant was a big inspiration to Barkley even though they never met or weren’t even in the same sport. Even though they never met and did not play the same sport. But Barkley always tried his best to emulate Bryant’s work ethic and dedication. The impact Bryant had on Barkley is a perfect example of just how important Bryant was to everyone, not just basketball players. People everywhere know the phrase “Mamba Mentality” and understand how hard Bryant worked to perfect his craft. The “Mamba Mentality” was so much more than just being good at basketball, it was about being better in life. As such, so many people have applied that to their lives before Kobe’s passing and undoubtedly will further implement to honor his legacy. The impact Bryant has had on millions of people is truly breath taking.

Aurora DeRose
Michael Levine Media
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