Junior college basketball player, Yazid Powell from West Philadelphia, scored 81 points for Community College of Beaver County Monday night against Butler County Community College to honor his hero Kobe Bryant.
The freshman initially tweeted that he was going to try to score 24 points and get 8 rebounds, but his teammates had other ideas.
“We do shootarounds before every game,” Powell told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “We had a meeting. … What should we do to honor him?”
The team decided that someone should try to score 81 points, the same number of points Kobe Bryant scored against Toronto on January 22, 2006 to give him the second-highest scoring total in a game in NBA history.
When they voted on who should be the one to perform the honor, “Everybody voted for me. They knew how I feel about Kobe,” said Powell.
Powell says he definitely felt some pressure because scoring 81 points, even with your teammates’ support, is not an easy task.
“I thought, I don’t want to start it and don’t finish it. The goal is 81. I didn’t want to let him down,” Powell admitted.
Turns out he didn’t have any problem reaching 81 points. In fact, the 6-foot-4 Powell had 75 points by halftime.
“I scored the 81st point two minutes into the second half,” he said. “I subbed out. I was so tired.”
Powell could have scored more. While sitting at 81 points he had to shoot a free throw, which he airballed on purpose.
Community College of Beaver County ended up defeating Butler County Community College 147-61.
The topper? Powell’s teammate Neumann Goretti had 24 assists and 8 steals.
Check out more tributes to the late superstar from LeBron James, Jerry West, Phil Jackson, Jack Nicholson, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Justin Timberlake, Bill Belichick, Draymond Green, Allen Iverson, Joel Embiid, R.J. Barrett, Brooks Koepka, ESPN’s Elle Duncan, Tracy McGrady, Lou Williams, late night TV hosts, Conor McGregor, Derek Jeter, Dirk Nowitzki, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Dwyane Wade, Lamar Odom, Mark Cuban, Tiger Woods, Nick Kyrgios, Trae Young, Sergio Ramos, Chance the Rapper, numerous artists at the Grammys, and many more.