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Why Kobe Bryant’s Sports Academy Is Dropping Mamba From Its Name

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Kobe Bryant‘s legacy still lives on.

On Tuesday, the Mamba Sports Academy announced it would retire “Mamba” from its name in order to honor the late basketball legend. The new title will change back to its original name: Sports Academy.

Back in late January, the late Lakers star and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant were two of nine people who were tragically killed in a helicopter crash, as they were on their way to the academy.

“Like tens of millions of fans around the globe, Sports Academy’s world drastically changed on January 26, 2020,” a statement read from the organization, which was shared with E! News.

The statement continued, “Today, with respect for an unparalleled legacy, the Academy will retire the “Mamba” in the Mamba Sports Academy name—to raise it to the rafters, where it belongs. In doing so, Sports Academy will carry on the vision it curated during that special partnership.”

Despite the name change, the Sports Academy will continue to follow its same mission.

“Sports Academy’s mission remains unchanged. Sports Academy is still here to transform the way each of us approach human performance,” the statement read.

Adding, “Sports Academy is still here to support current professionals and guide the next generation of athletes. Sports Academy is still here to provide an integrated and full-circle approach to training.”

As previously mentioned, Bryant and his teenage daughter passed away in Calabasas, Calif. in January 2020. Seven others were killed in the helicopter crash with them, including: Ara ZobayanJohn Altobelli, his wife, Keri Altobelli; their daughter, Alyssa AltobelliChristina Mauser, Payton Chester and Sarah Chester.

A public memorial service for the nine victims was held in February.

Three months ago, Vanessa Bryant filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company that owned the helicopter. Earlier this week, a representative for the helicopter pilot has issued a response.

Berge Zobayan filed an answer with the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles on May 8. Berge said the “answering defendant bears no responsibility” and alleged as one affirmative defense that the “injuries or damages” were caused “in full or in part by the negligence or fault” of the plaintiffs and/or their decedent, according to court documents obtained by E! News.

At this time, the lawsuit is still pending litigation.

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