BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio/JAM'N 94.5) — Fans have been mourning the loss of Kobe Bryant, who died along with his daughter Gianna in the Calabasas crash on Sunday. Those who also died in the crash include John and Keri Atobelli and their daughter Alyssa, Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton, Bryant’s assistant coach Christina Mauser, and the helicopter’s pilot Ara Zobayan.
JAM’N 94.5's Ashlee and the New JAM'N Morning Show had the opportunity to interview Kobe Bryant’s former trainer, Tim DiFrancesco. DiFrancesco has his own connection to Massachusetts as an alumnus of UMASS Lowell and as the owner of TD Athletes Edge, a fitness center in Salem, MA.
The former Los Angeles Lakers head strength and conditioning coach spoke to Ashlee and the New JAM’N Morning Show Tuesday. DiFrancesco spent six years with the Lakers, five with Kobe Bryant.
Here are some things DiFrancesco had to say about Kobe Bryant.
On Bryant as an athlete:
“I don’t think I’ll ever come across a professional athlete… that had an ability to inspire, globally, people beyond the game of basketball. How many people will we ever come across that have a mentality named after them? People know the ‘mamba mentality,’ they know what that means, whether you’re a basketball player or not.”
On Bryant as a father:
“Whether it was basketball, whether it was a card game or whether it was being a dad, he was going to be the best that he could be. You knew that about him. That is why this is such a hard thing for so many people that may or may not have been a basketball fan.”
On Bryant’s work ethic:
“I just think that his willingness to, essentially, never miss and people would ask me, like, ‘man, what are these 4 a.m. super-crazy workouts that he would do?’ He could do an incredible amount of work when he did his workouts and at an incredible intensity, but the part that, with him, that was really the secret was that he never missed. You never had to worry, is he going to hit ‘snooze’ that day? It was never a question.”
To listen to the entire interview with Tim DiFrancesco and Ashlee and the New JAM’N Morning Show, click below.