Ryan Williams, a partner of the Athletes First foundation, tweeted a touching personal story about his favorite memories of the longtime Los Angeles Lakers star, whose untimely death shocked the world on Sunday, January 26.
“Sept. 2018: Kobe witnessed someone crash into me at 65 m.p.h. He ran to my car. He helped. Most of all, he was kind,” Williams began a thread of tweets dedicated to the iconic athlete shortly after the news of his death was confirmed. “A week later, he saw me and my family at Starbucks. He told my wife how lucky I was to be alive. From that time on, whenever we’d see him in Newport Coast, [California], he continued to be kind. A fist bump to my son … a high five to my daughter … a word of wisdom to me.”
Williams continued, honoring Bryant for his exemplary character as a teammate, father and neighbor. According to his string of tweets, the Oscar winner followed up his 2018 act of kindness with another after witnessing a separate car accident in his neighborhood in December 2019.
“Kobe consoled each and every person on the scene, especially the kids. He was kind to them like he was kind to me,” Williams recalled via Twitter. “I will remember him for being legendary on the court. But more than anything, I will remember him for being kind … to me, to my family and to so many friends in our community.”
The retired athlete and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, passed away in a deadly helicopter accident on Sunday afternoon in Calabasas, California. There were seven other passengers in the helicopter, all of whom died in the crash.
Fans and stars alike spent the day honoring the NBA star’s life and legacy following the devastating news. Thousands of people like Williams shared their condolences with Bryant’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, and their three remaining children.
“Kobe was a legend of a human,” Williams concluded on Twitter. “Today’s news is absolutely devastating. My heart and prayers go out to the whole Bryant family, everyone at Kobe Inc. and all the others involved in this unthinkable tragedy.”