Kobe Bryant's Alma mater honors NBA legend with moment of silence

LOWER MERION TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania -- Many students at Lower Merion High School wore black to mourn the loss of one of their finest. The school had a moment of silence for 33 seconds in honor of Bryant's jersey number.

On Monday, current and former Lower Merion High School basketball players spoke about the impact Bryant had on them, including Guy Stewart, who said he was one of Bryant's teammates in high school.

"I went to school with Kobe, I was a year ahead of him, and we played basketball on the same team, from my sophomore year till I graduated, and we remained friends ever since then," said Stewart.

Current students said it was a sad day walking through the halls.

"It's very quiet, very somber, it's not like a normal school day," said Bridget McCann, a junior who plays on the girls' basketball team at the high school.

The student-athletes said they cannot fathom the loss of one of their own.

Bryant played at Lower Merion High School from 1992 to 1996, where he led the school to a state title the year he graduated.

When Bryant hung up his number 33 jersey, he went straight to the NBA. Many students said they thought of Bryant when they started attending Lower Merion High School.

"First thing I heard was Kobe Bryant, you're going to go to Lower Merion where Kobe Bryant went," said Ryan Brooks, class of 2006.

Alexis Hunter is a junior on the girls' basketball team and her heart goes out to Bryant's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, who also died in the crash.

"I felt like she was the next female Kobe," said Hunter.

Stewart said he has remained friends with Bryant since high school.

"Even though I had a kid first, he always kind of pushed you to be a better father, a better man," said Stewart.
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