LOWER MERION TWP, Pa. (CBS) — Before becoming a basketball phenom in the pros, Kobe Bryant starred at Lower Merion High School and one of Bryant’s opponents lets us know what it was like taking one of basketball’s greatest players. Bryant’s sudden passing has intimately affected millions.
“Just very shaken up. It feels very scary and overwhelming,” one woman said.
Since the tragic news broke of Bryant’s death on Sunday, a steady stream of people gathered in front of the gymnasium where Bryant perfected his incredible talent.
“I think it’s important to come where it all started,” said another woman.
Honing his craft on the hardwood at Lower Merion High School, Edward Harris is one of the fortunate few who had a literal brush with greatness.
“He was a living legend at that point,” Harris said about Bryant.
Just months before being drafted by the NBA, Harris, then a junior at Germantown Academy, went toe-to-toe with the NBA great.
“Some of our players had fouled out, so coach had me go in and guard him,” he said.
Harris’ uncle snapped this pic of his nephew and the 6-foot-6 soon-to-be pro.
“In high school, he was a man among boys. Just a different level,” Harris said.
With the skill to easily outmaneuver Harris, he recalled one of the many electrifying moments from Bryant.
“He went by me, and I’m pretty sure what I remember is a spectacular dunk by Kobe Bryant to end that particular play,” Harris recalled. “Even though it was a very brief moment when I was on the court with him, I’ll never forget it. He just had the presence of beyond everyone else’s ability on the floor.”
Harris and Germantown lost that game by 28 points. Bryant scored 29 points.