A heart of gold. Kobe Bryant said that he “loved inspiring kids” in his final interview given before his untimely death at the age of 41 on Sunday, January 26. In the feature published on January 23, the NBA legend discussed his life after retiring from the league, and how he was paying it forward by helping children find their niche in the world.

“You got to do what you love to do. I love telling stories,” the father of four told USA Today. “I love inspiring kids or providing them with tools that are going to help them.”

 

In recent months, the world-renowned star kept busy by working on several projects including his children’s book series, The Wizenard Series: Season One. Bryant was also collaborating with his production company Granity Studios.

“I have an idea for an entire universe that centers around sports, fantasy and magic,” he shared. “It’s as if the Olympics and Harry Potter had a baby.”

The former Los Angeles Lakers player even spoke candidly about his passion for coaching youth sports. He said it is “so important to take very seriously because you’re helping the emotional (development) of young kids.”

“So it’s understanding not to be overcritical and understanding that (there) are going to be mistakes,” the former MVP added.

Fans are devastated after hearing the news that Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday morning. He was one of nine people who passed away in the accident, according to officials. It’s reported that his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, also tragically died in the crash. The incident is currently under investigation.

View this post on Instagram

My Gigi

A post shared by Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) on

Prior to his passing, the late shooting guard opened up about his daughter’s shared love for the sport he played so well. “You know what’s funny … before Gigi got into basketball, I hardly watched it,” Bryant said on the “All the Smoke” podcast to Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on January 9. “Now that’s she’s into basketball, we watch every night.”

In his final tweet, Bryant paid his respects to longtime friend and fellow NBA legend, LeBron James. “Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother 💪🏾#33644,” he wrote.

Our hearts go out to the entire Bryant family during this very difficult time.

For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!