As the world continues to mourn the sudden loss of Kobe Bryant, this news has hit Philly especially hard since Bryant was born in the City of Brotherly Love and attended Lower Merion High School in Ardmore.

In an article published in USA Today in 2016, Bryant was quoted with saying, "Lower Merion and everything associated with it made me who I am."

According to ESPN, Bryant was a starter as a freshman at Lower Merion High School.  In an interview with ESPN, Bryant's high school coach says after just 5 minutes of watching Kobe play, he predicted that the 14-year old would go on to be a pro.

In 1996, Bryant led Lower Merion to a championship.

 

Bryant took singer/actress Brandy to his high school prom.

 

And shortly after graduating from Lower Merion, Bryant was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers.

 

In 1998, Bryant guest-starred on Nickelodeon's All That.

 

Ironically, in 2001, the Bryant-led Lakers beat the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA Championship.