This basketball legend will be cherished for his good deeds off the court.

The death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna Bryant, in the Los Angeles helicopter crash was shocking and heartbreaking. Many of us were scrolling through our phones last Sunday hoping this was all just a nightmare that we can snap out of. Unfortunately, it wasn’t and facing the reality of their loss is harder than words can describe.

Without a shadow of a doubt, Kobe Bryant was a stellar basketball icon. His skills were exceptional when it came to basketball, but in the face of death, people are fondly remembering him for who he was as a person. His compassionate attitude, warm smile, and service to others are what makes our heart melt when we remember him.

Kristen O’Connor Hecht, who is the wife of former Phoenix Suns director of corporate partnerships Tom Hecht, shared an emotional story about Kobe Bryant visiting a dying 5-year-old boy.

It started with a request from a pediatric cardiologist that Kristen happened to work with at the time. The cardiologist had asked Kristen if she could speak to Tom about getting the little boy, whose name was also Kobe, an autograph from the Lakers. She thought the chances of this occurring were slim, but she still followed through with the request.

The Lakers were coming to play the Suns during that time and to her surprise, the little boy wasn’t just going to get an autograph. Kobe Bryant offered to come to meet the boy in person! This was all done in secrecy as the security and public relations were not informed about the meeting.

For a dying boy who feels as though basketball is life, you can imagine how thrilled he must have been. He got to meet the basketball star and shoot some hoops with him. For a moment, he wasn’t a sick child with machines hooked up to him. He was able to play like other children (except it was 100 times better as not everyone is blessed to play ball with Kobe Bryant).

He went above and beyond for this little boy. As he was leaving the hospital he asked Kristen, “What can I do to help? Is it a financial thing? Because I can take care of that.” Unfortunately, it wasn’t and the boy died soon after since he was too ill for a heart transplant. His mom recalled that the time spent with Kobe were some of the greatest moments of the boy’s life.

This kind gesture wasn’t anything out of the norm according to his PR. He does these random acts of kindness everywhere without the PR. He did it intending to help somebody in need and expected nothing in return.

A life lived in service to others is admirable and it makes us see him as a hero even after his passing. This hero didn’t have a fancy cape, he had a Lakers jersey that he put down. He may have passed, but his legacy continues.