New York Post: Bryant’s Lower Merion High School Teammate Remembers His Competitiveness from Early Days Playing Ball

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Dan Pangrazio stands behind the left shoulder of Kobe Bryant (center, second row) in a team photo from the 1996 Lower Merion HS yearbook. Pangrazio, Kobe Bryant’s Lower Merion High School teammate, recalls learning the hard way about the NBA star’s competitiveness. Image via New York Post.

Dan Pangrazio, Kobe Bryant’s Lower Merion High School teammate, learned about his competitiveness the hard way, writes Josh Egerman for the New York Post.

During a rebound drill/game that was used by the team’s coach to instill toughness, Pangrazio found himself lying on the court, with his elbow bleeding enough to need three stitches to close the wound.

He was put there by Bryant as they battled for the ball in the final go-around. The sides were tied and Pangrazio hoped to hand his teammate his first-ever loss in the drill.

“The ball ricocheted underneath the basket,” said Pangrazio. “I grabbed it and held it in my hands. I definitely had possession for a second or a second a half. I had two feet planted and then boom, he hits me from behind and just grabs it from me.”

Then, as he was lying on the floor bleeding, he saw Bryant walk away “with the ball under his arm, saying, ‘We win.’”

However, Pangrazio did not begrudge the move by the future NBA star who died Sunday in a helicopter crash.

“I wasn’t angry,” he said. “You just loved the competitiveness.”

Read more about Kobe Bryant at the New York Post by clicking here.

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