HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif.—Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Huntington Beach) has introduced a congressional resolution to designate Aug. 24 as “Kobe Bryant Day” to honor the late Lakers star, who died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, 2020.
“Kobe Bryant used his platform to inspire millions and help kids around the world achieve success and strive for greatness. On Aug. 24, we should remember Kobe, celebrate his life, and encourage the next generation to dream big just like Kobe did,” Steel said.
Bryant lived in Orange County, within the 48th Congressional District represented by Steel. The date of Aug. 24 was chosen to represent the two uniform numbers Bryant wore with the Lakers: 8 and 24.
Last year, Steel led a successful effort to pass a similar Aug. 24 resolution locally when she was chair of the Orange County Board of Supervisors.
Her congressional resolution cites the work Bryant did in the community in addition to his athletic accomplishments, including the Bryant Family Foundation, founded by Kobe and his wife Vanessa
“with a mission of helping young people in need, encouraging the development of physical and social skills through sports and assisting the homeless.”
He also founded the Mamba Sports Academy “to connect aspiring athletes with experts to help them achieve their goals.”
Bryant’s career was not without controversy. He was accused of raping a 19-year-old hotel clerk in Edwards, Colorado, on June 30, 2003. Prosecutors charged him with one count of felony assault but later dropped the case after the alleged victim declined to testify.
The woman initiated a civil suit against Bryant, which was eventually settled out of court in March 2005.
In 2016, shortly after his retirement, the Los Angeles City Council declared Aug. 24 Kobe Bryant Day in Los Angeles. Bryant attended the council ceremony with his wife and daughters.