Gregg Downer, Kobe Bryant's former high school coach, reflects on life of NBA legend

LOWER MERION TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Before the world got to meet Kobe Bryant, it was Lower Merion High School basketball coach Gregg Downer who got to groom the NBA star.

Kobe played for Downer from 1992 to 1996 before going directly to the NBA.

Kobe later came back to the school in 2010 where the school named their gym after him.

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Brian Taff reports on the 2010 dedication of the Kobe Bryant Gymnasium at Lower Merion High School

"Yesterday I lost my hero," said Coach Downer one day after his former player was killed in a helicopter crash. Eight others, including Kobe's daughter, were also killed.

Read Coach Downer's full statement below:

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