Kentucky Commit Skyy Clark Still Dedicating Career to Kobe Bryant

Jason Jordan

Skyy Clark is “sure” that for the next decade on Jan. 26 he’ll say that he “still can’t believe Kobe isn’t here.”

“It’s not easier to accept because it’s been a year,” said Clark, a junior combo guard at Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy. “I, honestly, still can’t believe it.”

On January 26, 2020, a helicopter carrying Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others crashed in Calabasas, California; everyone onboard died.

At the time, Clark lived less than 30 minutes from the crash site.

Clark, who idolized the Los Angeles Laker legend growing up, said he sat in his bed in a trance for more than three hours once he heard the news that morning.

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A few days later, Clark got “8:24” tattooed on his rib and dedicated the rest of his career to Bryant, a proclamation he honors to this day.

“Every day that I go out there, that’s who I have on my mind,” Clark said. “He showed me the Mamba Mentality, and that’s how I play til this day.”

Clark lived next to Bryant’s Mamba Academy and recalled the time his younger brother, Zachiah “ZZ” Clark, scrimmaged against Gigi’s team.

“Kobe told them they better not take it easy on them because they’re girls,” Clark said. “That’s that Mamba Mentality! We’ll never get another icon like him. It still hurts that he’s not here, but just doing everything I can to make his name live on through my preparation and respect of the game he devoted his life to is something I’m always focused on.”