Having been inspired every single day by one of his motivational quotes, Brooks Koepka cried after hearing that basketball legend Kobe Bryant had been killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday along with his teenage daughter and seven others.
”I had it in the background of my phone every day,” said the Koepka of a message that Bryant had sent to a fellow basketball player after he’d suffered a bad injury, urging him to set “mini milestones” during his recovery in order to “return with a new perspective”.
Referring to a spell he had on the sidelines due to a wrist problem, Koepka added: “His words were what I looked at every day, or every time I looked at my phone, which I think everybody knows is about 20, 30 times a day, if not more.”
Koepka, who supported the LA Lakers because Bryant played for them, has been left stunned by his death. “I’ve never met him, but I cried for him, his family and everybody that was killed,” he said. “I just can’t imagine those last few seconds, having to hold your daughter and not know and not see the rest of your family again.
“Made you really appreciate life and what you have, and golf’s a stupid game that we just play. It’s really not that important. I know everybody likes to think it is, but it’s not. Your family, your friends, everybody around you; the impact you might have on other people is way more important than what I do out here and what I shoot. If I shoot 80 tomorrow, or I guess Thursday, or 60, it doesn’t matter.”
Fellow American Dustin Johnson, who grew up watching Bryant playing basketball, added: “He was an idol to a lot of people, including me. I actually was on a phone call with him not too long ago because he was one of the main investors in Body Armor, which is one of my sponsors. It’s just tragic news.”