To give young athletes in Los Angeles an opportunity to understand the game as he learned it, Kobe Bryant created the Mamba League, a youth basketball program rooted in personal insights with the goal of empowering girls and boys ages 8-10 on the court and in life.
“I’m really excited about building this league with my Nike family. Our line for the league is ‘play, learn, and grow.’ This is really important to me, and reflects what I want to share with the kids about my own journey—that through playing the game of basketball I learned not just about the game, but about myself and others, and through that process you grow, as an athlete and as a person,” Bryant said about his passion for creating the league.
The Mamba League began in February and is reaching underserved youth across East and West Los Angeles who love the game but may not have had an opportunity to play it. The League focuses on helping players truly understand the fundamentals of the game while increasing their overall self-confidence and fueling their potential.
“The Mamba League is a fun league for kids to learn the game, have fun and understand the connection that the game has with life in general-hopefully learning some of the work ethic it takes to become a better basketball player and convert that into a being better son, a better daughter and a better student,” said Bryant.
Designed in partnership with Nike and the Boys and Girls Club in Los Angeles-the league kicked off registration on Feb. 1, inviting kids from four main neighborhoods with under-served communities in the greater Los Angeles area-Nickerson Gardens, Whittier, West San Gabriel Valley/Monterey Park and Venice-to join the experience.
The Mamba League is comprised of 40 coaches who are volunteers from Nike stores in the Los Angeles area and Boys and Girls Club staff, and 288 players. Coaches participated in a comprehensive training clinic that was equal parts game fundamentals as well as social-emotional training to make sure every player has a positive experience. To align