The Gophers' Daniel Oturu posted on his Instagram account a selfie he took as a high school standout with Kobe Bryant at a Nike Camp in 2017.
"You were more than just my favorite player," Oturu wrote. "You were my hero. My heart is so broken. Rest in Peace Kobe. I'll never forget what you meant to me."
Bryant's greatness inspired Oturu to always work on improving his game. On a wall facing Oturu's bed in his childhood home in Woodbury still hangs a poster of Bryant, who gave him and other campers advice,
"That was pretty cool," Oturu told the Star Tribune after the camp in August 2017. "The highlight was meeting Kobe. Definitely him. We all spent more time with Kobe than LeBron and [Kevin Durant]. He talked to us about how to build your brand, staying focused on your goals. He gave us many examples that were really cool. First time I met him. He's a serious person about what he wants to do. I don't really meet a lot of people who are as serious as him. He's very dynamic. He's very serious about what we wants to do, even if it's not basketball related. You can tell that he's a competitive person. I've always been a Kobe fan. I think Kobe is the greatest player of all-time."