EL PASO, TEXAS (KTSM) – He was a giant in the game and he’s gone too soon.

Kobe Bryant’s reach stretched far beyond the NBA, across the globe and to El Paso and Las Cruces, where he inspired some of the best players and coaches at UTEP and New Mexico State.

On Monday, a day after Bryant passed away in a tragic helicopter accident, along with eight others – his daughter, 13-year-old Gianna Bryant; John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli; Sarah and Payton Chester; Christina Mauser; and Ara Zobayan – the Borderland’s basketball community remembered the man know as the Black Mamba.