Before Kobe Bryantmade his legendary mark on the basketball court, he made a pretty baller move off of it.
He was 17 and getting ready to graduate from Lower Merion High School, in the Philadelphia suburb of Ardmore. And although the top-rated high school basketball player in the country had an upcoming NBA draft to think about and had just signed a $2 million Adidas contract, first things were first: Finals, graduation, who to take to the senior prom...
As would continue to be the case down the road as he hit one career milestone after another, the former homecoming king set the bar sky-high when it came to getting a date.
Bryant had met singer and actress Brandy Norwood at the Essence Awards that April at Madison Square Garden, and was instantly smitten. "He came home from the Essence Awards and said, 'I met such a nice, beautiful, intelligent, sweet person,'" Kobe's mother, Pamela Bryant, told the Philadelphia Daily News that year.
But he was also a little shy, and Bryant reportedly asked someone else to get in touch and see if the 17-year-old Moesha star would want to go with him.