The most famous athlete to walk the halls of Lower Merion's old high school building will now have the new gymnasium dedicated in his honor – the "Kobe Bryant Gymnasium."
The Board of School Directors voted unanimously on Oct. 18 to approve the new name, which will be dedicated later this year, according to Superintendent Chris McGinley.
"I'm thrilled to announce that the new gym will be called the 'Kobe Bryant Gymnasium,'" McGinley said. "Kobe Bryant has made substantial contributions to the district since graduating in 1996."
The school board also accepted Bryan't most recent gift, $411,000 to be used for a multi-media display celebrating the history and tradition of "Aces Nation" and the school's performing arts program, according to McGinley.
"The displays will be interactive and easily updated, and the school's multi-media clubs will help curate and update the content," McGinley said.
Bryant is 5-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers, a former NBA MVP winner and an Olympic gold medalist. He visited Lower Merion High School twice last school year, McGinley said, and when asked by a student last January what he would have done if he didn't go on to play professional basketball, Bryant said, "teaching spanish at Lower Merion High School," according to a Delaware County Daily Times report.
As reported previously in Patch, Lower Merion School District also benefits from Bryant's shoe deals, generating royalties from Nike for his Lower Merion Aces line of sneakers.
As a high school student, Bryant led the Aces to their first state championship in 53 years during his senior season. During the 31-3 campaign, Bryant averaged 30.8 points, 12 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 4.0 steals, and 3.8 blocked shots. He scored 2,883 points in his high school career, the most of any player in Southeastern Pennsylvania school history at the time.
"Kobe Bryant continues to set an example of giving back, staying connected and making a difference," McGinley said. "We all look forward to watching events in the Kobe Bryant Gymnasium for years to come."