Before the game started we grabbed some lunch at a BBQ concession stand. In Texas BBQ means cow, in North Carolina it's pig. Even at this concession stand they asked some questions about Lexington or Eastern sauce, and red or white coleslaw. It ended up being a pretty good meal for a college concession stand. Our seats were pretty good and spacious compared to the initial seats at the UNC game. It didn't feel like there would be a bad seat in the arena even though it holds about 14,500 people.
We didn't expect this to be a high scoring affair by any means and it definitely started out low scoring. If I remember correctly, Virginia was up 11-4 with about 12 minutes to play in the first half, then Wake Forest went on a 31-17 run to end the half ahead 35-28. But Virginia came back in the 2nd half and ended up sending the game into OT. The Cavaliers outscored Wake Forest in overtime 9-7 and won by 2.
After the game we walked over to the bookstore and walked around the quad in front of the chapel. It was a beautiful day and made the campus look great for visitors. On the way back to the car two college age girls walked by and heard one of them mention Kobe Bryant. I thought it was odd that they would be talking about him but didn't think anything of it until seconds later a friend sent me a text with the initial headlines of Kobe Bryant's death.
My heart sunk just seeing it, much like everyone else. I was never much of a fan since he was always battling and defeating the Spurs in the in the early 2000's. But I came to realize as I got older that I should enjoy what he was doing on the basketball floor because it was so special. I've never meet him and have only been in the same building as him once, in his final season he sat on the bench against the Nets at the Staples center when I attended a game.
In the past few months though I have heard several podcast interviews he's done and heard how he wanted to inspire kids through sports and storytelling, and how much he loved his kids. It's tough to see it come to an end in such a tragic way. But his legacy, with it's flaws and all, will most live on to continue to inspire the next generation of citizens of the world.