Beyond Basketball; Kobe Bryant’s Gift to The Next Generation

In the wake of the death of basketball legend, Kobe Bryant, we dig deep into his legacy and how he has impacted the world beyond basketball.

What does life after basketball look like for five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant? After a 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, the two-time Finals MVP retired in 2016, taking his Mamba Mentality to another world entirely: storytelling.

“To finally have the time to pursue this other side of who I am, one that inspires me, has been endlessly rewarding,” Bryant says. “So I really didn’t struggle with leaving the game.”

He founded Granity Studios, a multimedia company through which he creates content for young adults, and won an Oscar in 2018 for his film Dear Basketball, an animated short set to one of Bryant’s poems.

But his latest efforts fall within the realm of publishing. Through a collaboration with author Wesley King, Bryant set out last spring to create the next beloved YA book franchise with The Wizenard Series, an intersection of Harry Potter-esque fantasy and traditional sports.

On March 31, the second volume, The Wizenard Series: Season One hit bookshelves, offering young readers magic, basketball and self-discovery.

“I created Granity Studios as a way of teaching valuable life lessons to the next generation, with whatever they hope to do,” he says. “The goal is to encourage children to develop their own inner magic and believe they can achieve the impossible and do so in a fun way.”

legend-turned-publisher spoke about his hope for children finding joy in this new genre of storytelling, the books he’s most excited about and what life looks like off the court—and yes, you can catch him coaching his daughter’s youth basketball team.

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