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Share Your Favorite Memories of Kobe Bryant Ahead of Monday’s Staples Center Memorial

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From Los Angeles to Italy, Asia and Beyond, Kobe Bryant was bigger than just a basketball player. He was the sport’s global ambassador.

It was a role that Bryant began studying for at an early age during his seven-year childhood tour of Italy while his father played pro basketball in the country. Italian coach Ettore Messina says “he was a typical citizen of the world and he understood that before a lot of other people.”

Bryant, an 18-time NBA All-Star with the Lakers, his daughter Gianna and seven others were killed Jan. 26 when the helicopter they were aboard crashed in Calabasas. He was 41.

A Celebration of Life for Kobe and Gianna Bryant is scheduled for 10 a.m. Feb. 24 at Staples Center.

The memorial will not be shown on video screens outside Staples Center, the Lakers said in a statement. Staples Center became a gathering place for mourning fans in the hours and days after the helicopter tragedy. Fans left flowers, jerseys, shoes and other items outside the arena, known as the House That Kobe Built.

Ahead of the memorial and in remembrance, we’re asking you to share your favorite memory of the late Lakers legend. From watching him play in an NBA Finals game to a spontaneous meeting in the city, you can tag us in your submission (using @NBCLA or #NBCLA) on social media or email us at

You should include your name, your favorite Kobe memory and a photo and/or video, if applicable.

And be sure to watch Today in LA from 4 to 7 a.m., where we’ll be featuring some of your stories.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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