On Jan 26, basketball great Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. He was 41.  In addition to Bryant, his 13-year old daughter, Gianna; John Alobelli, his wife, Keri, their daughter Alyssa and Christina Mauser, all died in the crash.

Over his high school and professional career, Kobe played many teams. Two of those teams were from Northeastern Pennsylvania.

On March 15 1995, Kobe along with the Lower Merion Twp. Aces played the Hazleton Area Cougars in the PIAA Class 4A Eastern quarterfinals at Bethlehem Liberty High School. Despite Kobe’s 33 points, Hazleton won the game in overtime by a score 64-59.

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The Standard-Speaker – March 16, 1995

In today’s Standard Speaker David Seamon shares a reflection on this game.

The following year, the Lower Merion Aces would be up against another NEPA team. This time on March 13, 1996, the Aces faced off against Scranton High at Bethlehem Liberty High School.  This time it was all Aces.  Kobe would led his time to a 79-39 defeat of the Knights.


The Tribune – March 14, 1996

In today’s Times-Tribune, Marty Myers speaks with Willie Chandler, member of the 1996 Scranton Knights team and current Misericordia basketball coach, about this game.

Myers also penned a column back in 1996 about the game, here is that article –

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The Scranton Times – March 14, 1996

Here are images from the March 13, 1996 game –