Before they were stars: Kobe Bryant

Tue, Jun 1

By the time Kobe Bryant hit his first game-winning shot in the NBA, the process had almost become routine.

Bryant, who left on-lookers awestruck this season with six last-second daggers, had already acted out the moment time and time again, long before even lofting up an attempt in the pros.

Almost every day, a young Kobe would jog to Wynnewood Park, just blocks away from his Philadelphia home, and shoot seemingly endless amounts of jumpers and layups, envisioning what it would be like for one to lift his team to victory.

"That's where I would dream of hitting game-winning shots and winning NBA championships," Bryant told ESPN in April.

But in high school, such heights were still just fantasies (though it didn't take long for most to take notice of the realities presented).

After spending seven years in Europe watching his father, eight-year NBA veteran Joe "Jelly Bean" Bryant, play for several teams, Kobe returned to the States at 14 and enrolled in Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pa.

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