Chris Hooper is a 28 year old 198cm forward from the Bronx, New York who completed his fourth professional season and first in Germany with the Itzehoe Eagles (Germany-ProB). He tore up the German Pro B being being fifth in scoring, third in rebounds and seventh in blocks and plastered the stat sheet like no other averaging 19,5ppg, 10,0rpg, 3,7apg, 1,3spg and 1,0bpg. He scored in double figures in 21 of 22 games and has scored 20 points or more 7 times. His best scoring games included a 33 point explosion against Rist Wedel, 30 points against TKS 49ers and 29 points against Bernau. He racked in Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro B Forward of the Year -20, Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro B Import Player of the Year -20, Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro B 1st Team -20, and Eurobasket.com German 2.Bundesliga Pro B All-Imports Team -20. He played the last two seasons with Obera Tennis Club (Argentina-La Liga Argentina) and last season played 49 games averaging 16.9ppg, 6.1rpg, 1.8apg, Blocks-4 (1.5bpg), FGP: 56.3%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 70.5%. Two seasons ago with Obera Tennis Club (Argentina-TNA) he played 28 games averaging 16.2ppg, 8.5rpg, 1.1apg, Blocks-3 (1.4bpg), FGP: 60.1%, FT: 58.9%. He played his rookie season with the Reading Rockets (United Kingdom-NBL D1) playing 21 games: Score-5 (22.4ppg), Reb-1 (12.3rpg), 2.3apg, 1.4spg, Blocks-4 (1.3bpg), FGP-1 (68.1%), FT: 63.9%. He began his basketball career at Arturo A. Schomburg Satellite Academy and then played at St. Francis College (NY) (NCAA) and in his last year played 32 games averaging 11.3ppg, 5.1rpg, 1.5apg, 1.0spg, 1.3bpg, FGP: 58.3%, FT: 57.1%. He spoke to germanhoops.com about his memories of Kobe Bryant.
Where were you and how did you find about the death of Kobe Bryant?
I was in my home when I found out about Kobe death, I found out on the internet that he was in a plane accident.
When I heard about it, I thought it was a hoax. What were your first thoughts when you heard about it?
When I heard about the death my first thoughts was with his family and how much they are going through and how it will affect the basketball world.
How much of your day the day after did you take informing yourself about his death and watching videos?
I didn’t watch a lot of videos and I pretty much watched all his videos even when he was alive he was the Jordan of my era so I knew pretty much everything about and Lakers as they are my all time favorite team, I just watched all the memories videos that were put together by fans and others.
Can you remember about when you first knew about Kobe Bryant and what was your first impression of him as a kid?
When I first found out about Kobe Bryant I knew he was going to be good coming out of high school back then was a big deal, I’m late to the basketball world but I always knew who Kobe Bryant was as well as Allen Iverson. Didn’t really have an impression of him just wanted to see him play
How did your love for Kobe Bryant develop over time as you were growing up. How do you remember following his career?
The way he loved the game has always been the same , that’s what I admire about him. I just remember all his moments good and bad and it was great to watch.
Kobe Bryant was for so many the greatest ever. What did you appreciate most about his game? Was he a guy that you pretended to be on the playgrounds?
What I appreciated the most about Kobe is that he didn’t let nobody slack off and he was always on you trying to get the best out of you when he stepped on the lines he left it all out there . And no I never looked at him as a playground guy.
Kobe Bryant had so many amazing games like his 81 points and countless other games where it was lights out as well as winning 5 titles. What is your fondest memory of him of what he did on the court?
My favorite moment of Kobe would definitely have to be his last two NBA championships as well as that 81 point game.
The outpouring of sadness was incredible in the last 24 hours. Guys were crying and leaving heart felt messages on Social Media. How long do you think it will take until the basketball world comes to terms with this tragedy?
I mean I think people already are accepting it that’s not the issue the issue is having to accept it nobody wants to, like its Kobe Bryant he’s well known all over the world people look up to him he was a friend , father , teammate ,mentor etc it’s just hard to accept .
When you look back in 20 years on the career of Kobe Bryant how will you remember his legacy best?
I’ll remember him by being a gym rat which is why who he is today .
One of my last questions in my standard interviews is what is your opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James. Often players remind me that I left out Kobe Bryant. I have been thinking about this a lot in the last weeks. How worthy is a Kobe Bryant to be seen as the greatest of all-time?
I don’t really have an opinion on that I like all of them 3 different eras three different players who all respect each other. All three guys have something to show for their greatness and that’s what it’s about inspiring and leaving your mark and if neither 3 of them did that then this wouldn’t even be a question
My last question isn’t what is the last movie you saw, but what video of Kobe Bryant will you take a look again when you have some time to look back at his great career?
Maybe for sure his 60 point last game when he retired that was definitely a special moment For the world I think
Thanks Chris for your memories of Kobe Bryant