BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Kobe Bryant became the face of the NBA for much of the world, but his legacy goes beyond the realm of sports.
He left behind a large impact on American popular culture.
Bryant was an Academy Award winner and the first African American to win an Oscar for Best Animated Short.
He influenced fashion and hip hop.
He gave back to the community and he was also a family man which hits home for a lot of people.
Aamir Bone, 15, said that he was six-year-old when Allen Iverson, Bryant and Lebron James inspired him to play basketball.
"His flow. He was unique. To me, he was like a person for me to look up to. A good inspiration on kids. He had a passion for the game. It pushed me to have more passion for it," Bone said.
Bryant was a marketing icon in terms of how he took what basketball superstar Michael Jordan did with men's fashion and taking it another level --world-wide.
Bryant also grew up in Italy and spoke three languages. He married a Mexican-American woman which influenced how Latino fans saw him.
"Kobe Bryant in many ways, defied how our society defines black men. It gave them a different image of what a black man can be, especially in how he was raised and in his transition into the league and in much of how he carried himself in much of his time in the league," said Thomas Edge, an African American Studies and American Popular Culture professor at Bowling Green State University Professor.
Bryant's 13-year-old daughter, Giana, who was also killed on Jan. 26, in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, represented a chance for a third generation of basketball stars.
Bryant's father was also a pro basketball player and shared a love for the sport.