Jonathan Kuminga has a connection with both Kobe Bryant and Kyrie Irving that Golden State Warriors fans would really appreciate.
The Warriors forward, who’s come through the G-League Ignite team to become the 7th pick in this year’s draft, hails from DR Congo. He secured a basketball scholarship to move from his home country to play HS basketball with The Patrick School.
The Patrick School, in case you were wondering, was where Kyrie Irving entered the collective hoops community’s consciousness. His spectacular showings there earned him a move across the city to his other high school team.
His time at St. Patrick’s aside, Kyrie Irving has been one of the NBA’s most benevolent souls. This is underlined by how he helped to reopen St. Patrick’s and reinstated his famous basketball program – one that took in Kuminga.
Jonathan Kuminga, Kobe Bryant and Kyrie Irving shared an extremely unlikely moment
It was December 2019 and Jonathan Kuminga was in the middle of a landmark senior HS season. College teams across the country had sat up and taken notice of the youngster and his burgeoning talent. Kobe Bryant may not have been one, but he knew about the youngster too.
About a month before his untimely passing, Kobe made sure to meet with Kuminga 2 days ahead of one of his signature senior year games against Roselle Catholic. Matt Sullivan revealed the chapter in his book Can’t Knock the Hustle, which came out this summer.
Jonathan Kuminga and his HS teammates were outside Barclays Center, watching Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi leaving a game. They beckoned for the Black Mamba to look out with shouts of ‘Yo! It’s St. Pat’s!’
Kobe obliged, getting a picture clicked with Kuminga and his other teammates. This was a highlight of Kuminga’s career before the NBA and one of Kobe’s final pictures in public.
Incidentally, Kyrie Irving pulled up to the spot just as Kobe left in his own limo. And much like Kobe himself, Kyrie was more interested in Kuminga and co’s gameplan. Mamba mentality indeed!
How the hell did Kyrie get KD to join the #Nets? And who pulls the strings of a dynasty now?
…then pick up your copy! https://t.co/ZNyLbzFQGF
— Matt Sullivan (@sullduggery) August 20, 2021