Newly-retired Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant wasn't content to merely work hard at being a legend in basketball during his career. Growing up in Italy, he learned to love soccer as a fan, admiring the beautiful game and the national team of Brazil as well as the club squad Barcelona for their high level of play.
Speaking Italian also helped Bryant improve his language skills in Spanish, and he became more fluent in the language as he neared retirement. Once he and his Mexican-American wife, Vanessa, had two daughters, Bryant also made his support for women's soccer well known.
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@ussoccer_wnt) January 18, 2016
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 18, 2016
That's probably why Mexican-American Monica Alvarado, a member of Mexico's women's national team and a World Cup veteran, felt comfortable reaching out to Bryant on social media. She challenged him to help in a good cause -- donating to the women's national team of Afghanistan.
— Monica Alvarado (@moni_alvarado8) May 7, 2016
Bryant accepted the challenge.
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) May 10, 2016