THOUSAND OAKS — The Mamba Sports Academy recently announced the retiring of the ‘Mamba’ nickname from the company’s name. The Southern California based training complex was previously co-owned by the late Kobe Bryant and will now honor his iconic ‘Mamba’ nickname in the rafters.
On the morning of January 26, devastating news of a helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others had tragically crashed in the hills of Calabasas, California. Calabasas sits just fifteen minutes away from the Thousand Oaks based Mamba Sports Academy, Kobe’s final destination.
“The changing of the name from Mamba Sports Academy to Sports Academy, the original name from 2016, is not a decision we came to lightly or on our own. It was a mutual agreement made in accordance with the wishes of his estate. Thank you for respecting that decision in these turbulent times.” the Sports Academy said in a statement.
“I want to emphasize that this isn’t a licensing deal,” Sports Academy founder Chad Faulkner told the Ventura County Star. “I wasn’t interested in that. He wasn’t interested in that. If Kobe puts his name on something, it’s because he believes in it and intends to be involved.”
The horrific helicopter crash still remains under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. Also onboard were pilot Ara Zobayan, Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and their daughter Alyssa; Christina Mauser, who helped coach the girls’ basketball team; and Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton. Alyssa and Payton were teammates of Gianna.