MILWAUKEE — A young Milwaukee man is remembering basketball superstar Kobe Bryant as a man that left behind a legacy of determination and hard work.
Jordan Patterson met Kobe Bryant in 2012 when he was 13. Patterson had been diagnosed with kidney failure and connected to Bryant through the Make-A-Wish foundation. His one wish was to meet his basketball hero, Kobe Bryant.
"I watched the game and I saw Kobe, I was just like this man is amazing... Kobe just had that presence of walking on the floor and he didn't have to say too much but you knew he was the man that was going to get the ball" said Patterson.
In 2012, Make-A-Wish sent Patterson and his family to Los Angeles for five days to tour the city and meet Kobe Bryant. They were able to sit near courtside at Staples Center to watch the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Brooklyn Nets. In the end, the Lakers came out on top.
Patterson says "Kobe hit the game-winning shot, that was just incredible seeing Staples center go crazy for Kobe Bryant."
Not long after the game was over Patterson had the chance to meet up with Bryant.
"He said, you Jordan? I said yeah. He gave me the biggest hug, cracked my back... not going to lie. Picked me up a little, started talking to me, took all the pictures I wanted," said Patterson.
When the family returned to Milwaukee, Bryant sent Jordan a game ball and a worn practice jersey.
Upon learning of Bryant's death Patterson says he was in shock and started crying at work. He says he will always cherish Bryant's advice. "The legacy that he leaves, the Mamba mentality. The Mamba mentality is hard work. If you put in the work anything is possible" said Patterson.
Patterson is now 21, on dialysis and waiting for a kidney transplant.