AC Milan Honors Longtime Fan Kobe Bryant Before Soccer Game

Italian soccer team AC Milan paid tribute to basketball legend Kobe Bryant – a vocal longtime fan of theirs – before the side’s Italian Cup game in San Siro stadium in Milan on January 28.

Prior to kickoff, the stadium went dark and photos of Bryant wearing an AC Milan jersey appeared on big screens in the stadium. Fans raised banners with #SempreKobe on them in honor of the former LA Lakers player.

Bryant lived in Italy between the ages of 6 and 13, while his father, Joe Bryant, played basketball in the country.

After the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others, on January 26, AC Milan said there were no words to express their shock at the death of the “Rossonero [a term for AC Milan] fan” and said Bryant was “one of the greatest sportsmen of all time.”

AC Milan announced the team would wear black armbands and observe a minute’s silence before their game against Torino.

The other victims of the helicopter crash were Alyssa Altobelli, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Payton Chester, Sarah Chester, Christina Mauser, and Ara Zobayan, media reported. Credit: Marco Ghislandi via Storyful