In what would be one of his final acts before his tragic death, Kobe Bryant sent a text message to Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka hoping to help a friend aboard the helicopter with him on that fateful January day.
Pelinka recounted the story Monday during the memorial for Kobe and Gianna Bryant. Kobe texted him from the helicopter asking if Pelinka could help him get in touch with “a certain baseball agent based in Southern California” to help secure an internship for the 16-year-old daughter of John Altobelli, the college baseball coach who was in the helicopter with Bryant.
A day later, we’ve learned that the baseball agent is Scott Boras and MLB’s superagent is now helping fulfill one of Bryant’s final wishes.
On the day of their deaths, Altobelli, his wife Keri and their 14-year-old daughter Alyssa were all riding with the Bryants to Gianna and Alyssa’s basketball game. Kobe Bryant and John Altobelli had grown to become friends through their children, with Bryant coming out previously to talk to Altobelli’s baseball team at Orange Coast College.
Now Kobe was hoping to help Alexis Altobelli — one of two surviving Altobelli children — get an internship with a baseball agent. But it wasn’t just any baseball agent. It was the baseball agent.
According to the Los Angeles Times’ Dylan Hernandez, Boras will honor one of Kobe’s final wishes and create an internship for Alexis Altobelli.
“Kobe’s last human act was heroic,” Pelinka said on Monday. “He wanted to use his platform to bless and a shape a young girl’s future.”
As the Times reports, Boras and Bryant actually attended the same church in Newport Beach and had spoken occasionally, but Bryant didn’t know how to contact Boras, so he reached out to Pelinka, whom had recently met Boras at a Lakers game.
Bryant wanted to be a character reference for Alexis Altobelli. After he died, Boras said Pelinka reached out to him to relay the story.
The Times reports that Boras has been in touch with J.J. Altobelli, Lexi’s older brother who is a scout for the Boston Red Sox, and will create a position that will allow Alexis to “rotate through the company’s various departments, including marketing, baseball operations, sports science and office administration.”
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