Campaign for Black Male Achievement Partners With Kobe Bryant to Celebrate New Book Series

"No one can define what another person’s best is...True leadership is helping people define it for themselves." 
--Kobe Bryant, Five Time NBA Champion


The Campaign for Black Male Achievement is thrilled to partner with NBA Legend Kobe Bryant and his multimedia company Granity Studios to mark the official launch of THE WIZENARD SERIES: Training Camp -- a new young adult sports fantasy series created by Bryant and written by award-winning author Wesley King.

On March 19th, CBMA will join the five-time NBA Champion for an exclusive book release event at the NBA Store in New York City, where Bryant will talk about the story-telling content of the book and its inspirational message of how sports, teamwork, and good coaching are keys to unlocking potential and individual growth. CBMA is happy to engage its partners at JPMorgan Chase to include a group of young men from The Fellowship Initiative to attend the event and meet Bryant.

Also as part of this team effort, CBMA is excited to partner with The Eagle Academy Foundation to provide students from Eagle Academy Harlem with the incredible chance to engage in an online Q&A with Kobe Bryant himself, published exclusively on our website. Read the student-submitted questions along with Kobe's responses below!


Question #1: How did you tap into the "Mamba Mentality"? -- Derick Clark, 11th Grade

KOBE BRYANT: "The Mamba Mentality came from my need to focus on one goal – winning.  Everything else had to come second to that.  The Mamba Mentality forces you to have a clear vision for success, accept your fears and insecurities about obtaining that goal, and use those fears and insecurities as fuel to do better.  The Mentality always comes from achieving with excellence, whatever your personal goal may be." 

Question #2: What served as your motivation during your career as a pro basketball player? What is your motivation now? -- Sheron James, 11th Grade

K.B.: "Winning is always at the core of my motivation. I am a true competitor and never want to be beat – by anyone or anything.  I still have the same motivation today in building our content studio.  Our stories, books, films, etc., have to deliver at a very high level and change the industry for sports storytelling."

Question #3: What has been your most resilient moment? - Dontae White, 11th Grade

K.B.: "Winning against Boston in 2008 after being down 3-2 in the series. We had to come together as a team and rally to get that done.  There’s nothing better than winning in the face of adversity."

Question #4: Has your leadership ever been tested? How did you handle the situation? -- Luis Paredes, 11th Grade 

K.B.: "The challenge for me now in building the studio is learning how to lead and inspire my team to do the best work they can do.  No one can define what another person’s best is, so that makes leadership challenging. True leadership is helping people define it for themselves." 

Question #5: Would you ever come back to the game? - Nasir Dorsey, 11th Grade

K.B.: "I’ll never play for a team again, but the game has never left me either.  Now, I’m finding new ways to take what I’ve learned from the game to engage with young people."

Question #6: Was there any time during your career that you felt your mental health and wellness was under attack? If so, what did you do to bounce back? - Branden Paris, 11th Grade

K.B.: "When I tore my Achilles tendon, I had to go through the emotional and mental journey about overcoming that injury and fighting for a comeback.  Once I made the decision that I still wanted to play, that was it.  My Mamba Mentality kicked in and I did everything in my power to make it back onto the court." 

Question #7: What advice would you give young men of color who are trying to activate their visions? Joshua Cabrera, 11th Grade

K.B.: "My greatest piece of advice for young men of color is to accept that vulnerability is your greatest strength. So many times, young men bury those emotions – fear, doubt, insecurity – and they end up manifesting in a negative way later in life.  If we can accept those feelings as they happen, see them, acknowledge them and move through them, we become stronger individuals over time."

Question #8: Without basketball what do you think you would have done with your life? - Nikai Santiago, 11th Grade

K.B.: "That’s really hard to say. Basketball has been a part of my life since I was two.  But, I’m just as passionate about storytelling than I am about the game, so I’d probably end up doing what I’m doing now in some capacity.  I’m very fortunate to be in a position to combine my two passions.  I don’t take that position for granted and continue to work hard every day to deliver quality work."

Question #9: How has the transition been from being an athlete to a business man and author? - Dwight Watson, 11th Grade

K.B.: "The transition has been easy for me because I’m still chasing something I love. I believe if you’re able to tap into what fulfills you personally, change can come fairly easy. For 20 years, I inspired people with my basketball game. Now, I hope to inspire people with my stories.  Ideally, I hope to show people that just because one door closes, doesn’t mean an even better one won’t open."


GET YOUR COPY OF THE WIZENARD SERIES: Training Camp" at www.WizeNard.com, and follow along with our partnership on social media using the hashtags #TheWizenardSeries and #CBMANext!