Meeting basketball legend and author Kobe Bryant

Meeting basketball legend and author Kobe Bryant

There is a new book called “The Wizenard Series: Training Camp.” The creator of this book is NBA Hall of Fame player Kobe Bryant, and the author is Wesley King. Kobe Bryant has gone from a basketball legend to an amazing author. The new book is about the team West Bottom Badgers, the lowest-ranked team in the league. The story is broken down into five books each focusing on the story of one character: Rain, Twig, Cash, Peno, and Lab.

All of the young kids in this team come from the poorest neighborhood. No one has faith in the kids to succeed. Then a new coach joins the team, Rolabi Wizenard. After the coach joins the team the kids start to get really strange unique visions that can challenge them. It shows them about life lessons he tries to teach them in different ways. Each player has his own struggles whether it is fitting in or fighting to be the best on the team.

One of our favorite parts of the book is when Peno starts rapping. In the beginning of the book Peno said, “The Badgers are back, and yes our gym is wack, but the boys are better, down to the letter, we coming for the win, uppercut to the chin, Dren best watch fur the Badgers because we are well … ” After that Peno didn’t finish that rapped part because nothing rhymes with Badgers.

After having read the book, we got to interview Kobe. We met him at Barnes and Noble Book Store in Union Square, Manhattan. We were nervous to interview a great legend of basketball. We were also very excited to meet him. When we entered the room, we had the biggest smiles we could have ever had. He shook our hands, made us feel so welcome, and we got to sit down with him and ask our questions.

One thing we really wanted to know is what his favorite part of the book is. Kobe told us it was when Big John would brag about his mom’s biscuits, but Rain said they wouldn’t know because he eats all of them!

We were excited to hear his second favorite sport was soccer, because this is something we all play at recess. His favorite soccer team is Barcelona. He said to us that he likes that team because they use team strategy and move the ball well around the field. Kobe added that he even uses their strategy to teach his own kids to play basketball.

With the game on the line, one player always wants the ball to make the big play. We asked Kobe if he was that type of player. He gave us a big smile and told us that he always wanted the ball. He said that is why he played the game. It is no wonder why he identifies with the character Rain in his book.

We also wanted to know if his jersey number has any meaning because there were two different numbers —8 and 24 —that he had during his career. Originally, he said, his high school number was 33, but he couldn’t have that number. He couldn’t have jersey number 33 because it was retired by Kareem Abdul Jabbar.

We thought that the number 143 is very important, sort of, it was his All American number and if you add the digits they add up to 8. The number 24 means you need to work hard for 24 hours.

We had asked who inspired him he said some of the people were Bill Russell and Michael Jordan he even modeled the coach after Bill Russell since he had a high basketball IQ.

We asked him when he was younger if being an author was something he wanted to pursue and he said no. He couldn’t imagine himself being an author. Kobe didn’t think he was going to be an author but he told stories to his daughters, and that is one of the reasons he wrote his own book.

We asked him if there were times now he wanted to lace up and play he had said no, but that 10 years ago that was something he never thought he would say either. He had said he would like to play one-on one-with Michael Jordan. That is a match up we all would love to see!

Finally, we asked him about his Olympic medals. Very few people have NBA championships rings and Olympic medals. We wanted to know what was more important: winning a gold medal or winning a championship. He told us the Olympic medal because he was representing his country and that meant more than representing any one city or team.

Our final thoughts on Kobe. He was such a great guy. He was also a very funny man. We also thought Kobe was interesting and he was well educated, because he spoke so well. Kobe was very tall, and we felt super short next to him. When Kobe shook our hands, we told everyone I didn’t want to wash it. We walked through the city with our hands (that he shook) up in the air saying we met Kobe. It was an amazing experience.

If you want to get a copy of this book, find it at

By By Ian Codio, Humberto Guevara, Jose Munguia and Alan Turcios


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Olds College received 10 Angus heifer calves, donated by The Canadian Red Angus Promotion Society. (File photo)
Olds College and TELUS to develop new agriculture technologies

TELUS Agriculture is investing $1 million in the Olds College Smart Farm.… Continue reading

Const. Jason Tress leaves Red Deer provincial court. An RCMP officer, whose name is under a publication ban, testified Tress sexually assaulted her at a party in 2012. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Former Red Deer RCMP officer denies sexually assaulting colleague

Former Const. Jason Tress took the stand in his own defence on Wednesday

A new public washroom, proposed for downtown Red Deer, was taken out of the city’s 2021 budget so more questions can be answered about the proposal. (Advocate file photo).
Proposed public washroom for downtown Red Deer was pulled from 2021 budget

More questions need to be answered about the $511,500 project

Some Red Deerians complain about too much light “spillage” from new LED streetlights. (Black Press file photo).
Complaints about too-bright LED streetlights are discussed by Red Deer city council

Night-time light ‘spillage’ can be a problem, says councillor

A male broke into an apartment building on Hinshaw Drive on Nov. 29 and pried open 40 resident mailboxes, removing mail from the mailboxes. RCMP is looking to identify the suspect. (Photo courtesy of RCMP)
RCMP looking for suspect in Sylvan Lake mail thefts

Sylvan Lake RCMP is investigating a theft from more than 40 mailboxes… Continue reading

Dan Cochrane, senior pastor at CrossRoads Church. Contributed photo
CrossRoads Church closes its doors for two weeks after staff member tests positive for COVID-19

CrossRoads Church made the decision to cancel in-house services for two weeks… Continue reading

Dan Cochrane, senior pastor at CrossRoads Church. Contributed photo
CrossRoads Church closes its doors for two weeks after staff member tests positive for COVID-19

CrossRoads Church made the decision to cancel in-house services for two weeks… Continue reading

Red Deer College will be offering an online course to help businesses navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff
RDC to offer online course helping businesses navigate COVID-19

Red Deer College is launching an online course designed to help businesses… Continue reading

The Gulls Stadium is still under construction, but the team is preparing for opening day in June 2021, with player announcements. (Photo Courtesy of TD Aerials - Central Alberta)
Gulls release schedule for 2021 WCBL season

The Sylvan Lake Gulls are set to make history this spring. Monday,… Continue reading

Muna Castle, a student at St. Thomas Aquinas Middle School earned honourable mention for the Honouring Spirit - Indigenous Student Award, handed out by the Alberta School Councils’ Association. (Photo courtesy of Red Deer Catholic Schools)
Red Deer middle school students recognized for outstanding leadership

A pair of students from St. Thomas Aquinas Middle School received provincial… Continue reading

In this May 16, 2019, file photo, Salesforce chairman Marc Benioff speaks during a news conference, in Indianapolis. In a deal announced Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, business software pioneer is buying work-chatting service Slack for $27.7 billion in a deal aimed at giving the two companies a better shot at competing against longtime industry powerhouse Microsoft. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)
Salesforce buying work-chat service Slack for $27.7 billion

SAN RAMON, Calif. — Business software pioneer is buying work-chatting service… Continue reading

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases speaks remotely during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on May 12, 2020 in Washington, DC. The committee is hearing testimony from members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force on how to safely open the country and get America back to work and school. (Win McNamee/Getty Images/TNS)
People magazine reveals its ‘2020 People of the Year’

LOS ANGELES — People magazine has named George Clooney, Dr. Anthony Fauci,… Continue reading

Zeke Thurston, of Big Valley, Alta., rides Lunatic Party during saddle bronc rodeo semi-final action at the Calgary Stampede in Calgary, Sunday, July 14, 2019. Thurston is among five Canadians competing in the 2020 world championship of rodeo Dec. 3-12 in Arlington, Texas. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Rough ride to National Finals Rodeo for Canadians in pandemic season

Levi Simpson and his horse Stetson are about to trample the turf… Continue reading

Team Manitoba celebrate after defeating Team Ontario to win the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw, Sask., Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Curling Canada wants Calgary's Canada Olympic Park to be a curling hub for the season's top events. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
CP NewsAlert: Calgary facility set to become curling hub during pandemic

CP NewsAlert: Calgary facility set to become curling hub during pandemic

Most Read