BBC World News Special Interview with Wong Wei Long regarding the death of NBA Icon Kobe Bryant

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BBC News Host:
Basketball fans from around the world, they’re still coming to terms with the loss of the legendary Kobe Bryant. With me now to talk about his impact in Asia is Wong Wei Long. He is a Chinese Singaporean professional basketball player. Wei Long thank you so much for joining us here on News Day. Tell us, what did you feel when you received the news of the death of Kobe Bryant?

Wong Wei Long:
Woke up yesterday at 10:00 AM and I was actually shocked to hear the news. It wasn’t from the Facebook, it wasn’t from Instagram, but it’s just from my friends in the group chat with all my friends and colleagues, that they actually put up these informations about Kobe’s death. And he just impacted just everyone, not just basketball players, you see.

BBC News Host:
He was. Everyone was shocked and devastated, but did you ever get to meet Kobe or even be near him?

Wong Wei Long:
Yeah, yeah, probably just 10 rows away from the courtside. So he was there at a game 30th of December. I actually went to watch one of the game that Lakers play against Dallas Mavericks and he was actually there with his daughter.

BBC News Host:
And the power that he has for many basketball players here in Asia has really been enormous, like yourself, who’ve been playing for 10 years now. What kind of influence did he have on your game as an amateur and as a professional player?

Wong Wei Long:
Back in 2000 when he won the first championship against the Pacer, that’s when I started to watch him play. And I actually watched the entire series when he played against Philadelphia Sixers. It was an incredible series that I saw him making lots of fadeaway jump shots. Incredible shots that no one would think that he would make, he would make it. But I was there and watching how he play with Shaq, they there was the best duo ever and … Yeah.

BBC News Host:
What kind of impact has he had on Asia and on players here in the region?

Wong Wei Long:
Definitely a big impact to the players in Asia, not just basketball player, but just everyone in Asia. For me, particularly, just the Mamba mentality that he’d show on the court.

BBC News Host:
Thank you so much for sharing with us your feelings and thoughts about the legendary Kobe Bryant. Wong Wei Long, a Chinese Singaporean basketball player here in Singapore.

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