Vanessa Bryant celebrates posthumous release of Kobe Bryant’s book ‘The Wizenard Series: Season One’

Kobe Bryant’s creative influence is still touching the world. “The Wizenard Series: Season One,” the second book in a series Bryant coauthored, was released on Tuesday. Vanessa Bryant celebrated the occasion in an Instagram post promoting the book:

Bryant’s first book depicted the West Bottom Badgers, a struggling basketball team in a poverty-struck neighborhood, turning around under the direction – and magic – of their coach, Professor Wizenard. His second focuses on one of the Badgers’ players, Reggie, and his path from benchwarmer to contributor.

Magic is a central element of “The Wizenard books,” as Bryant felt tying sports and fantasy together helped his message resonate. He once admitted that he learned how to master the genre through reading J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series.

“Sports/fantasy is a blend of two of my passions: sports and fantasy storytelling,” Bryant told Barnes and Noble in 2019. “I’m a voracious reader and huge Harry Potter fan. So, it was a natural fit for me from that perspective. And, I think kids respond to lessons they learn while being entertained. It connects back to my desire to want to bring joy back to youth sports, while teaching important life lessons.”

Wesley King, a New York Times best-selling author who specializes in youth fantasy novels, coauthored both of Bryant’s books. He wrote about his feelings of the release on Twitter: “Bittersweet without my collaborator, but grateful to see the words live on.”

“This a book about chasing your dreams,” King added.

Bryant, an 18-time NBA All-Star and five-time NBA champion, retired from basketball after the 2015-16 season but kept busy elsewhere. In addition to hosting the ESPN show “Detail,” Bryant won an Academy Award for his short film, “Dear Basketball,” in 2018. He died in January, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other, when his helicopter crashed in California.

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