A Mamba Mentality of My Own


Kobey Hart, Contributing Writer

The Mamba Mentality is only available to certain people. It’s like a sixth sense defined by the legendary Kobe Bryant, a hero of mine. It just comes to you; a feeling, a drive of some sort. He had this mentality both on and off the basketball court. Game after game, it seemed like he couldn’t miss a basket, didn’t want to lose, and was determined to keep achieving greatness with his basketball skills. Off the court, he wrote books, helped build homes, stocked food pantries, and supported charities that provided for children all for the betterment of communities. Where did he get the strength to accomplish all of this? It was the Mamba Mentality. It is because of him that I now know how to define my drive for success. I’ve not only seen this drive in my actions on the basketball court, but also in the way I approach challenges in my life.

I came to the realization that I had this mentality when I was determined to make it on my high school varsity basketball team as a freshman. Soon after, my team played a home game against a team we were not expected to beat. I was the youngest on the team and because of that, I didn’t expect to get much play time. To my surprise, after a couple of minutes into the game, I got subbed in. All I wanted to do was make my coach and team proud. A chill went down my spine. Something cold penetrated me. I ran onto the court with an attitude that gave me strength like no other. I got the rebound and dribbled hard down the court. The opposing team tried to step in front to block me. I avoided all obstacles for a quick lay-up.From then on, the shots came easy for me. Dribbling between my legs, around my back, crossing over: I felt like no one could stop me. I had the Mamba Mentality. I fed off my own adrenaline, my own drive, using my skills to be the best player I could be.

Starting the 4th quarter, we were losing. My team lost their drive and displayed their exhaustion, but I knew we still had a chance to win. Pushing myself, I continued to play hard, defend the ball, and look for the open man. Everyone knew I was demonstrating something special on the court. When there was 40 seconds left in the game, my team had possession of the ball. As point guard, I dribbled to the right, went back to the left, drove to the rim, and threw up a shot. The ball floated in slow motion through the air and dropped into the basket for the win. A freshman was instrumental in helping the varsity team win the game! The cheers woke me up from this Mamba Mentality state that I was in. My adrenaline diminished and the coldness inside me went into storage for the future.

This Mamba Mentality is not only with me on the basketball court. I seem to channel this mentality when I approach other obstacles in my life. For example: when I joined the concert band in high school and played alto saxophone. As a freshman, I was placed in a group that was mixed with students from all grades. My playing ability was not up to par with the seniors, so my Mamba Mentality kicked in. I practiced before and after school and during my free periods. I got so good that I was given solo opportunities during concerts. I became section leader and was asked to move up and play with the wind ensemble.

I am appreciative and thankful for this Mamba Mentality gift that I have. It’s helped me grow as a person through life as well as sports which are a big part of my life. It will help me persevere through the challenges of college and life.

Kobe Bryant leaves the opposition in his wake as he embodies the Mamba mentality. (Photo courtesy NBAE via Getty Images)