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Italian Town Fondly Reminisces About Kobe’s Childhood Connections

Kobe Bryant
Image Source: kobebryant@Instagram

During his career, Kobe Bryant became a basketball and cultural icon, admired by fans, celebrities, and world leaders. His tragic death elicited shock and sadness worldwide, including from the small Italian city of Reggio Emilia, where he spent part of his childhood. Reggio Emilia is known for its contributions to educational philosophy, Parmesan cheese, and now, as the hometown of the legendary Kobe Bryant.

‘Forever One of Us’

The Reggio Emilia basketball team paid tribute to Kobe with a tweet saying, “Forever one of us,” accompanied by photos of a young Bryant in their team uniform. The local paper, Gazzetta di Reggio, ran the headline, “Kobe Bryant, a champion grown in Reggio Emilia.”

Kobe Bryant’s connection to Reggio Emilia goes beyond his fame as a global figure. He spent his formative years in Italy, where his father, Joe Bryant, played for local teams. Joe Bryant became a local celebrity, and young Kobe spoke Italian fluently and played on the city’s youth team, Cantine Riunite.

According to Davide Giudici, a former teammate and friend from Reggio Emilia, Kobe Bryant stood out even at a young age. Giudici said, “He was obviously already really good. We had a strong team, but he was better than all of us. At 11 years old, he was already very secure in his power and what he would become.” It was clear to anyone who saw him play that Kobe would go on to become a professional player and achieve international success.

Image Source: kobebryant@Instagram

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