SUPERSTAR KOBE BRYANT died with eight others in a tragic helicopter accident along a route I used to travel in southern California. Kobe was a real-life superhero in my eyes. On the court, he always came through for his team. After retirement, he lifted the lives of many others in his charity work.
His death has reverberated around the Irish campus where I work as students express how they discovered the legacy of one of the world's most talented basketball players. I've summarised the research four students did as part of a 30 minute research period we carved out during a part of a Web Content Management Systems module taught on the BSc in Creative Media Design. You can see action figures like the one of Kobe Bryant scattered throughout our Clonmel campus.
Kobe Bryant the Inspiration
Frank Murphy, a fitness evangelist and creative media design student, found hundreds of testimonies to Kobe Bryant. Athletes, media influencers, and common people respected the talents and the work Kobe Bryant did. 
The World Mourns Nine Deaths
Aspiring web developer Garry O'Keeffe noted the crash killed more than Kobe Bryant. Among those who died are Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant, baseball coach Altobelli, Altobelli's wife ( Keri), daughter (Alyssa) and Christina Mauser assistant girls basketball coach. 
Kobe Bryant regularly used helicopters to beat the Los Angeles heavy traffic. His crash site is along a route I occasionally flew when serving in the Military Airlift Command.
The Conspiracy Theorists Spin Up
I asked Marvin Rosner to dive into the German press to see if the name of Kobe Bryant resonated. He quickly noted positive sentiment and heartfelt condolences one might expect when reading about a talented athlete--alongside some predictable conspiracy theories concerning access to the crash site. 
Kobe Bryant and France
Although she is not passionate about sport, Raphaelle Loisel quickly discovered the name of Kobe Bryant resonated through the mainstream French press, accompanied by respectful mentions of his talents and civic contributions. Raphaelle also discovered a direct connection between Kobe Bryant and Mulhouse, during 1991 when Kobe spent six months in France. "We didn't spend enough time there," Kobe told Le Parisien. 
1. Frank Murphy, "Kobe Bryant the inspiration" on the fmFitness blog.
2. Garry O'Keefe, "Nine People Die with Kobe Bryant" on Garry O Keeffe's blog. Image of Kobe courtside with daughter from Getty Images.
3. Marvin Rosner -- "Kobe Bryant, Death or Accident--and does it matter?" on the Moert Blog.
4.Raphaelle Loisel -- "Kobe Bryant and France" on Ella Irish Blog.
5. Flight Radar Track offers clues to the flight's accident profile.
[Bernie Goldbach teaches creative media for business on the Clonmel Digital Campus of the Limerick Institute of Technology. Image of the Kobe Bryant action figure from ididididj0mama on Flickr.]