Yukon Teen Was Set To Play Against Kobe Bryant’s Team In Tournament Before Tragic Crash

Monday, January 27th 2020, 11:25 pm
By: Clayton Cummins

Yukon seventh grader Keziah Lofton was thrilled when she learned she'd be playing against Kobe Bryant's daughter in the Mamba Cup.

Her family told News 9 when the Bryant's were running behind, they knew something was wrong. 

“It hits different when, when you were there. Oh my God,” said Keziah.

Keziah has returned to the game she loves but mentally she’s still processing what happened.

“He’s one of the greatest players, I think. He just has a good mentality, a good person.

While playing for Yukon Middle School, Keziah is also a member of Lady Drive Nation. The team Gigi Bryant was coming to play in the Mamba Cup Tournament on Sunday.

Keziah and her family saw the Bryant’s on the court, just a day before.

“It was like a little Kobe out there playing. She looks just like him too. It was really cool. She has his shot and everything, she looks like him,” said Keziah.

She was with teammates when she learned the news, and watched the mood change quickly inside the Mamba Sports Academy.

“We get there and everyone is still playing nobody knows yet. We go there and coach tells them. They called off all the games. One of the directors, I believe, told everybody and everyone started crying, said Keziah.

The tournament quickly changed to a makeshift vigil.

“All the energy in the room got sucked out. It went from being a live gym and basketball going on every court, literally everyone stopped where they were in the middle of the game and prayed. It’s hard to describe,” said Keziah’s parents.

With tragedy comes the life lesson, tomorrow’s never promised.

“It’s a feeling that I never want to feel again. It was like somebody my age died, a legend died, something that you don’t want to go through. You don’t want to be there,” said Keziah.


The Mamba Cup Tournament has been canceled.