Kobe Bryant: 'Lower Merion made me who I am'

USA TODAY Sports’ Martin Rogers goes to Lower Merion High School to learn how Kobe Bryant’s remarkable high school career prepared him for greatness.

PHILADELPHIA — David Lasman remembers the first time Kobe Bryant put Michael Jordan in his cross hairs and vowed to join “His Airness” among basketball’s legends.

It was on a school bus when they were 17.

“He would tell me on the bus that Jordan couldn’t stop him,” Lasman, a former high school friend and teammate of Bryant’s, told USA TODAY Sports. “I still think that would be crazy for an NBA player to say right now. But he was always looking for the next challenge.”

Bryant’s remarkable 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers is entering its final days, but the more than 33,000 points, 18 All-Star teams and five NBA titles might never have been if not for his time at Lower Merion High in suburban Philadelphia. It was here that Bryant emerged from science and English classes to become an iconic sports superstar.

“Lower Merion and everything associated with it made me who I am,”…

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