Head coach Clay Helton presented Kobe Bryant with a cardinal and gold No. 24 jersey after the Lakers legend spoke at USC’s Marshall School of Business.
USC is used to hosting some of the brightest stars in sports. Every football offseason, a string of NFL greats use the Trojan facilities while the football team has attracted more than it’s share of Hollywood stars to the sidelines for games and practices.
This week, it was a basketball great who graced the Trojans with his presence: Kobe Bryant.
Bryant was on campus to give a presentation on sports performance and his competitive mindset at the Marshall School of Business. Several Trojan student-athletes were on hand for the talk, including defensive lineman Malik Dorton and USC alum and beach volleyball star Sarah Hughes.
Head coach Clay Helton also took the opportunity to learn from “one of the fiercest competitors in all of sports.”
“It was unbelievable to see him in that real element, just be himself,” Helton said.
In addition to soaking up the hour-long presentation, Helton presented Bryant with an honorary No. 24 jersey, his old number with the Lakers, prompting current Trojan Isaiah Langley to joke with the head coach about giving his jersey away.
“I told him it’s okay to have two greats in No. 24,” Helton said after practice on Tuesday.
Helton even offered another scenario, with Langley on defense and another No. 24 jersey potentially available.
“Kobe can be on offense in No. 24 if he wants to come play for us.”
With Tyler Vaughns and Michael Pittman leading the Trojan passing attack, USC may not need Bryant’s help on offense, but they’d certainly take it. The 6-foot-6 super-athlete has college eligibility remaining and could fill in as a receiver or a tight end.
Of course, then walk-on receiver Jake Russell, who also wears No. 24, might have something to say about it.
Alternatively, USC’s No. 8 jersey is unoccupied on offense. If he wanted it.