Sometimes a mountain just naturally grows from a molehill.
Just after I wrote an article for The Merionite(.pdf), Lower Merion High's school paper some 14 years ago, I witnessed the transformation of a semi-normal high school guy to a genuine superstar.
The press conference in the Lower Merion High School gym, in the suburbs of Philadelphia, in 1995 was just a taste of the fame that would eventually come to Kobe Bryant.
Even today, however, I relish my memories of the pep rallies and the alley-oops that took place in the gym during his years on the team. His smile, his grace and his maturity are qualities that still shine on the court as the Lakers take on the Magic.
And the City of Angels can count on Kobe, hopefully, to put on many more shows for many more years into his already-legendary career.
Editor's Note: This article(.pdf) appeared in The Merionite Dec. 4, 1995, when Kobe Bryant was a senior at Lower Merion High School in Pennsylvania. Freelance writer Melanie Amato went to high school with Kobe Bryant, and is still a fan.