The Mamba Sports Academy says it will honor Kobe Bryant’s memory by removing the word “Mamba” from its name forever. Kobe partnered up with The Sports Academy (a youth sports training business) in 2018 — which led to the name change “Mamba Sports Academy.” Kobe was very involved with the Academy — and was traveling to a MSA facility in Thousand Oaks, CA with his daughter, Gianna, and several other people when their helicopter crashed on January 26.
Now, Sports Academy founder and CEO Chad Faulkner says the company will make significant changes as a tribute to the NBA legend. “Today, with respect for an unparalleled legacy, the Academy will retire the ‘Mamba’ in the Mamba Sports Academy name — to raise it to the rafters, where it belongs,” Faulkner said in a statement. Faulkner expanded on his decision to ESPN’s The Undefeated … saying, “Our beliefs and thoughts are Kobe is one of one. ‘Mamba’ is one of one.” “And with that as we carry on as The Sports Academy, it’s more appropriate to put Kobe in another Hall of Fame, if you will, and to really respect a legacy that is really unrivaled, frankly, and let that live on its own. We will continue to do the work we do.” “We were fortunate to learn from Kobe. We will carry on much of those learnings that we have in a respectful way.” Of course, there is another school of thought that Kobe would want the Academy to use his name because it would help to attract more young athletes … but clearly Faulkner doesn’t feel that way.
The Sports Academy has already changed its website to reflect its new name — and says it will make changes to signage at its buildings in Thousand Oaks and Redondo Beach.