Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna “Gigi” Bryant attended Catholic mass just hours before the tragic helicopter crash, per Daily Mail. This has prompted many fans to want to learn more about Bryant’s religion and spirituality.
Bryant and his daughter Gigi attended the 7 a.m. mass at Our Lady Queen of Angels in Newport Beach, California and both received communion, per Daily Mail. Bishop Timothy Freyer posted a lengthy Facebook message noting that Bryant was a parishioner of the Orange County Diocese while calling the Lakers legend a “committed Catholic who loved his family and loved his faith.”
Kobe was an icon who inspired us through his words and actions to set our goals, work hard and achieve our dreams. He was a committed Catholic who loved his family and loved his faith. A longtime Orange County resident and parishioner in our Diocese, Kobe would frequently attend Mass and sit in the back of the church so that his presence would not distract people from focusing on Christ’s Presence.
Please join me in praying for the victims. May God grant their loved ones peace and bring them comfort during these difficult times.
Kobe Turned to His Christian Faith During His Sexual Assault Trial
A Colorado hotel clerk brought sexual assault allegations against Bryant in 2003 that would be followed by a 2004 trial. Bryant admitted to having an affair but emphasized their relationship was consensual during an emotional press conference. Bryant reflected on the time in a 2015 GQ interview noting he leaned on his faith during this time period and recalled a conversation he had with a priest.
“…The one thing that really helped me during that process—I’m Catholic, I grew up Catholic, my kids are Catholic—was talking to a priest,” Bryant explained to GQ. “It was actually kind of funny: He looks at me and says, ’Did you do it?’ And I say, ’Of course not.’ Then he asks, ’Do you have a good lawyer?’ And I’m like, ’Uh, yeah, he’s phenomenal.’ So then he just said, ’Let it go. Move on. God’s not going to give you anything you can’t handle, and it’s in his hands now. This is something you can’t control. So let it go.’ And that was the turning point.”
Kobe Attended Church on the Morning After His Final NBA Game
Bryant’s spirituality extends back to his playing days as he attended a church service on the morning after his final NBA game, per The Undefeated. Bryant noted in a 2016 interview with ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that he felt it was important to “give thanks” for his career.
ON THE MORNING AFTER Kobe Bryant died one of the most audacious basketball deaths of all time, he woke up around 7, drank a cup of coffee and went to church.
“It was me, alone,” he says. “After 20 years, I think it’s important to give thanks.”
He had scripted how this morning would go a long time ago. There was no way he was going into whatever comes next without a plan or a purpose.
Church. Workout. Office. Disneyland. In that order. That’s what he was going to do.
Bryant was also respectful of other faiths throughout his life. The Lakers legend visited monks at a Buddhist temple during a 2016 tour with Nike, per Ball Is Life.