MANILA—UP Fighting Maroons star player Kobe Paras on Monday paid respect to NBA legend Kobe Bryant after his death in a helicopter crash.
“[You’re] the reason why I wore 24 [in] my freshman year … life is so unfair… #mambaforever,” Paras posted in an Instagram story while wearing a basketball uniform with the jersey number 24.
During his stint as a player for the Los Angeles (LA) Lakers, Byrant wore jersey number 24 after using the number 8. Both were retired by the Lakers after his final National Basketball Association (NBA) game.
Paras also posted in his Instagram story, a photo of the late Bryant’s jersey number 8 with the words “Rest in paradise, Kobe and Gigi.”
Paras played for LA schools Cathedral High School and Middlebrooks Academy then for the University of California, Los Angeles in the hopes of pursuing a career in the NBA league.
He later played for the UP Fighting Maroons and finished his first season as part of the Mythical Five.
The Lakers icon died with several others onboard, including his daughter, Gianna, after their helicopter went down in a remote field northwest of Los Angeles, according to the LA County Sheriff.