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Kobe Bryant's legacy off the court includes support of WNBA and youth sports

Boys and Girls Club chapters are remembering his advocacy work while WNBA players honor his dedication to growing women sports.

MINNEAPOLIS — At the Jerry Gamble Boys and Girls Club in Minneapolis, Kobe Bryant has left a lasting legacy.

On the court, you’ll still find players mimicking his moves, and tossing up game-winning buzzer beaters while yelling “Kobe!”

But club director Marcus Zackery says even more inspiring than his game, was the work he put into it.

"His whole Black Mamba mentality that you work hard on and off the floor. His mindset and approach to the game, that's the approach we want all our kids to take as they go in to play sports, basketball or anything else in their lives," Zackery says.

Zackery believes that Kobe's support of the Boys and Girls Club and his advocacy for girls’ basketball is a big reason why their local Boys and Girls Club chapter has so many thriving girls teams.

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“Him moving the needle forward for girls basketball has just been a tremendous inspiration for us to keep our girls sports programs here,” Zackery says.

And his impact on the game doesn’t stop with children.

Many professional WNBA players, including a few on the Minnesota Lynx, tweeted out tributes to Kobe on Twitter Monday.

WNBA Legend Sheryl Swoopes tweeted, “Life is too short! Kobe, thank you for being you.”

Lynx player Jessica Shepard tweeted, “I’ll never forget literally running into Kobe before the Final 4…was one of my favorite memories.”

Minnesota Lynx Head coach Cheryl Reeve says Kobe was a big advocate for the league and had dreams of one day seeing his daughter Gianna playing professionally.

"His advocacy of our players, and really not just the WNBA, but women's basketball, other colleges. It was unmatched," Reeve says.

Reeve is currently at the University of Connecticut traveling with the women's USA team.

She says Kobe's daughter Gianna dreamed of one day playing at Connecticut, and eventually playing in the WNBA.

Reeve says Gianna’s death is also having a big effect on many of her players.

"That's just, just the unspeakable," Reeve says.

“That’s probably the hardest part. To see them so heart-broken, and what he meant to all of them, that generation of players, that’s been the hardest part for me with all of this.”

Several NBA legends and current players are also tweeting out tributes to Kobe.

The Dallas Mavericks organization has already decided to officially retire his jersey number 24.

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