Kobe Bryant 24-hour essay contest winner

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Jaylin Holmes

Meet Jaylin Holmes, a graduating senior at UIC College Prep High School in Chicago. He beat out dozens of students for the opportunity to be a VIP guest at the 2020 NBA All Star Legends Basketball Rising Stars Game.

Jaylin’s winning essay reads in part:

“In honor of Kobe’s profound legacy and the celebration of Black History Month, Kobe is one of few Black men to be multilingual, fluently speaking Spanish, Italian, and, of course, English. Moreover, he exemplified the role of being a supportive father and husband. In today’s time, we lack fatherhood in our Black communities. As Black men, we have to understand the significance of being a father. Many may say that his financial wealth made his job as ‘dad’ easier. But I would argue that the amount of quality time spent with his children was more valuable because, unlike money, time is irreplaceable.”

“Despite my age and my race, I plan to carry on the ‘Mamba Mentality’ by working hard to inspire more generations of minorities to get involved in the STEM world, like me, to make a difference in our communities through infrastructure.”

The “Mamba Mentality” refers to the mentality embodied by the late NBA legend Kobe Bryant, which defined his career and accolades.

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