Kobe Bean Bryant was born on August 23, 1978, in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Kobe Bryant’s earliest memories are of basketball. His father Joe Jellybean Bryant former Philadelphia 76er and San Diego Clipper, and he finished his final NBA season with the Houston Rockets. Later he traveled to Italy and played seven seasons with various Italian Clubs of the Italian A1 League and Italian A2 League. Kobe Bryant grew up in Italy and became fluent in Italy. When he was seven he got his first leather basketball, but in Italy it was hard to find anyone to play because the main sport was soccer. Outside at the park the basketball courts had soccer post at the bottom of the court, so after the soccer games Kobe would play basketball for countless hours. Kobe Bryant and his father would keep taps on their favorite NBA teams by watching video tapes. Kobe would study these for hours learning the moves from his favorite players. Ervin “Magic” Johnson was Kobe Bryant’s favorite player; growing up Michael Jordan was everyone’s favorite player so Kobe didn’t like him too much. Kobe Bryant would hang out with his father’s Italian teams learning from all of his father’s teammates. Kobe Bryant returned with his family from Italy in 1991. Kobe Bryant coming back to Italy he was an outsider at home in Philadelphia. But, on the court he was right at home.
Kobe Bryant began playing for Lower Merion High School. His junior year he took his team to the state finals, but they fell short of the championship. Kobe Bryant promised his team that they would win the championship next year, and that is just what happened. After this Kobe was faced with a troubling decision; either, go to college for three or four years, or make three or four million playing in the NBA. In the end Kobe made the decision to head to the NBA besides all the tough criticism he and his father faced. Kobe Bryant became the youngest player ever in the NBA. On July 1, 1996 Kobe Bryant was drafted the 13th overall pick by the Charlotte Hornets. The young rookie was then traded to Los Angeles Lakers by request of manger Jerry West (former LA Laker). Jerry West traded starting center Vlade Divac to the Hornets for Kobe Bryant’s draft rights. At the time Kobe was still seventeen, and his parents had to cosign his contract with the Lakers until he was eighteen and able to sign his own contract. This would be the start of a Legend.
This is a video going into more detail about Kobe's life.