Being regarded as one of the all-time finest basket guards, Kobe Bryant was not particularly surprised by anything on the basketball court. Until he witnessed what Kat Tan, also known as the one-armed Mamba, did in 2016 during one of his programs in the Philippines, that was the case.
The Origins of the One-Armed Mamba
At a school carnival when Tan was ten years old, she was involved in a catastrophic roller coaster accident that necessitated the amputation of her left arm by the attending physicians. The tragedy occurred in 1996, the same year that Bryant was selected by the NBA. Tan, who had a moderate interest in basketball, spent the majority of her time in the hospital with her father, where they watched basketball. Given the worldwide support for the Los Angeles Lakers, it came as no surprise that the only sports broadcast on her television for several days were Lakers games.
After Tan was discharged from the hospital, she developed a deep admiration for the athletic prowess of Bryant, who was 18 years old. Beyond witnessing Bryant’s youthful fervor, Tan was impressed by his judgment to forego college and pursue a career in the NBA. Subsequently, Tan embraced the mamba mentality prior to its widespread recognition. Tan participated in the recruitment process for her school’s basketball team notwithstanding her limitations. Despite the initial setback, she persevered in pursuit of her objective and secured a position on the team the following year.When Kat Tan finally met Kobe BryantBryant and Tan have encountered one another on three distinct occasions. In 1998, they encountered one another by coincidence while attending a hotel function. Although she was able to take a photo with Bryant, she was too enthralled to respond to any of his inquiries. Tan was well-prepared for their 2011 follow-up meeting, having framed the news clipping from their initial encounter. Even more so, upon seeing Tan after nearly 15 years, Bryant was inspired:“Therefore, encountering Kat-Kat once more today, after all these years apart, motivates me to exert further effort. “Due to the fact that I am certain she finds inspiration in my actions,” Bryant explained.Their final and most memorable encounter occurred in 2016, a few months following Bryant’s retirement.Bryant personally selected Tan to make a three-point attempt from the top of the key during his twenty-four-player-only, elite camp. If it entered, every child was excused from performing sprints. Bryant added the variation that if it missed, all participants except herself would be required to run. Tan swished the shot after a few dribbles with Bryant positioned at the base of the rim. It was the perfect conclusion to one of the most improbable alliances in basketball history.