At the beginning of 2020, two months before the monumental national lockdown, one major event in Los Angeles also sent shock waves throughout the entire world. Kobe Byrant, the beloved retired superstar of the Los Angeles Lakers died in a tragic helicopter accident on January 26, 2020, along with his daughter, Gianna Bryant, and seven other individuals. This devastating loss brought the entire world to immense pain, but the communities in the city of stars suffered the most. Shortly after the news of his death, different communities in Los Angeles gathered together around Staples Center in downtown for multiple days to express their grief, pay their respects, and celebrate the life that touched millions through his tenacity and passion for basketball. Gateway faculty and alumnus reflected on this unique communal phenomenon and gave unique insights to help us understand this city in mourning.
Dr. Steele provides insight on this complex communal grief experience by attributing it to our God-designed need for connection.
As a native of Southern California, Pastor Jenkins reflects on the countless moments of common grace shared by a community that grew up watching LA’s beloved superstar.