KING ABDULLAH ECONOMIC CITY (AFP) – World number one Brooks Koepka says he cried after hearing about Kobe Bryant’s fatal helicopter crash on Sunday – despite never having met the basketball legend.
The American put up a touching Instagram post following the death of the former Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard.
“I was a Lakers fan because of him,” Koepka said on Tuesday ahead of this week’s Saudi International at the Royal Greens Golf Club outside Jeddah.
“I kind of missed the (Michael) Jordan era, so I think anybody my age was a big, big Kobe fan. I mean, I cried that night.
“I’ve never met him but I cried for him, his family and everybody that was gone,” Koepka added.
“I get goosebumps now thinking about it. I just can’t imagine those last few seconds, having to hold your daughter and not know and not see the rest of your family again.
“It made you really appreciate life and what you have, and golf’s a stupid game that we just play. It’s really not that important.
“I know everybody likes to think it is, but it’s not.
“Your family, your friends, everybody around you, the impact you might have on other people is way more important than what I do out here and what I shoot.
“If I shoot 80 on Thursday, or 60, it doesn’t matter.”
Bryant 41, was travelling last Sunday with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other passengers and crew when the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter slammed into a rugged hillside in thick fog in Calabasas, northwest of Los Angeles. There were no survivors.