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‘Touched me hard’: Las Cruces basketball community shaken by Kobe Bryant’s death

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - The City of Crosses might be almost 800 miles away from the City of Angels, but Kobe Bryant's legacy has impacted fans all over the world.

“Touched me hard," said Las Cruces High School basketball coach William Benjamin. "Hell, I cried when he retired"

Williams is a Los Angeles native who had the privilege of watching the 'Black Mamba' play in the Staples Center.

"He taught us that you could shoot for the spectacular through hard work," Benjamin told ABC-7. "That’s the one thing that I always admired as a fan was just his ability to be able to push himself to a different level as far as his work ethic.”

The New Mexico State University basketball community was also shaken by his loss.

"For a lot of young players, he was their idol," said NMSU men's head basketball coach Chris Jans. "He was an inspiration. Life’s fragile. Live it to the fullest while you can, because you just never know.”

"You’re not promised another twenty minutes," said NMSU women's coach Brooke Atkinson. "So, you’ve just got to live your life to the fullest.”

New Mexico / News / Sports

Kate Bieri

Kate Bieri is ABC-7’s New Mexico Mobile Newsroom reporter and co-anchors ABC-7’s weekend evening newscasts.

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