Kobe Bryant started his own youth basketball league called the Mamba League

A few weeks back, we saw one of Kobe Bryant's first post-retirement projects, as he brought Canvas City to ABC's NBA Countdown on a Sunday afternoon before the Rockets took on the Thunder

Now, we have some insight into one of Bryant's other plans: his very own basketball league. Bryant, like many former players, is not fond of the current AAU setup, saying, bluntly, "it's stupid."

To counter this, Bryant teamed up with Nike and the Boys and Girls Club of Los Angeles to create a 40-team co-ed league in Southern California earlier this spring. Via Yahoo Sports:

The 40-team co-ed youth basketball division ran for eight weeks from February through April, focusing on underserved elementary school children from the nearby areas of Nickerson Gardens in Watts, Whittier, West San Gabriel Valley and Venice.

The premise is simple: teach the basic fundamentals of the game, instill core values of teamwork and find joy through sport.

"The Mamba League is a fun league for kids to learn the game and have fun," Bryant said in a Nike video about the league. "But also, to understand the connection that the game has with life in general, and convert that into being a better son, a better daughter and a better student.

Kobe Bryant trying to teach kids about the joy of basketball is a little ironic, but jokes aside, this is an awesome project -- especially the way Bryant made sure it was inclusive for all kids. 

In addition to the emphasis on fundamentals, the father of two teenage daughters also placed a priority on inclusion and access, with female players making up more than 45 percent of the league.

Hopefully Bryant will have success expanding this league, which he said he wants to do next year, and can continue to create a positive space for kids to learn and enjoy the game. 

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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