Amy Buckman, the Director of School and Community Relations for Lower Merion School District, gave a statement on behalf of the district regarding the untimely death of star basketball player and LMHS Alumni Kobe Bryant:
The Lower Merion School District community is deeply saddened to learn of the sudden passing of one our most illustrious alumni, Kobe Bryant.
Mr. Bryant’s connection to Lower Merion High School, where he played basketball prior to joining the NBA, has raised the profile of the high school and our District throughout the world. Our school community will always be grateful for his ongoing generosity to his alma mater, including his dedication of our Kobe Bryant Gymnasium and his support of our boys’ and girls’ basketball teams.
Gregg Downer coached Mr. Bryant from 1992 to 1996. Mr. Bryant led the team to the 1996 State Championship. Downer said that he is completely shocked and devastated by this news adding, “Aces Nation has lost its heartbeat.”
The entire Lower Merion School District community sends its deepest condolences to Mr. Bryant’s family. Our basketball teams will no doubt pay tribute to Mr. Bryant as this season continues, but at this time, as a District, we will concentrate on supporting those in our community – including Coach Downer and English teacher Jeanne Mastriano– whom Mr. Bryant credited for sparking his love of writing.