• Kobe Bryant revealed person who inspired him to write
  • Bryant once shared an interesting story during high school
  • Bryant gave NBA players advice on what to do after retiring

Kobe Bryant revealed who ignited his passion for writing days before his tragic death.

Shortly after he retired from NBA, Bryant found himself a new purpose in life – storytelling. Although the Lakers legend had already started to establish his career as a writer, someone very significant from his past apparently sparked his new passion in life.

In his last interview with USA Today, Bryant revealed that his high school English teacher, Jeanne Mastriano, was the person who helped him decide to pursue writing.

“She was so good and so passionate about what she was teaching about writing and storytelling. She firmly believed that storytelling could change the world. And she opened my eyes to this passion I didn't know existed,” Bryant said about Mastriano.

Mastriano, who taught English to Bryant during his sophomore and senior years at Lower Merion High School, was apparently the first person to see the legend’s potential in storytelling.

According to Bryant, he was once notified by Mastriano about his homework assignment. The entire class had to share a short story before a group of kindergarteners. At the time, He didn’t have any story to tell. But instead of confessing he forgot, the young Kobe spent the walk down the hallway brainstorming and coming up with an interesting story.

Bryant remembered how his mom constantly told him to put away his dirty clothes after basketball tournaments. But he often just swept them under his bed. The then-high school prospect decided to share his experience on why he should have listened to his mother and turned it to a comic book type of story. Surprisingly, it turned out to be a success.

“Those clothes formed together to create these monsters that at nighttime dragged the kid from his bed into the depths of despair,” Bryant recalled.

“We started getting letters from families saying, ‘I don't know what story my kids heard, but their room has never been so clean.’ I was like, ‘Oh man, this is pretty cool’,” Bryant added.

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 13: Honoree Kobe Bryant accepts the Icon Award onstage during the 2016 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater on July 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California
Kobe Bryant announces his new venture capital firm, Bryant Stibel, in partnership with friend Jeff Stibel. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Mastriano praised Bryant for his story and said that it was “relaxed, complete and had a nice arc.” The said moment sparked Bryant’s interest in storytelling.

Last December, Bryant gave present-day NBA stars some advice on what to do with life after basketball. The five-time NBA camp emphasized that being the best player in the league is the most important thing at the moment, but finding something to be passionate about after basketball must be considered as well

Bryant was set to introduce his fourth book, “The Wizenard Series: Season One,” on March 31. It's the second in a series, written by Wesley King. He also launched Granity Studios, a multi-media content company that has overseen the publication of “The Wizenard Series: Training Camp,” which made The New York Times bestseller list, “Legacy of the Queen” (by Annie Matthew) and “Epoca: The Tree of Ecrof" (by Ivy Claire).