Bryant gets serious
By Jonathan Powell
Local fans found out why Kobe Bryant is a winner when he visited Hong Kong this week.
The Los Angeles Lakers superstar was in a no-nonsense mood when he arrived at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University gymnasium on Wednesday.
Within five minutes, he was teaching Nike league juniors the methods that have made him an NBA record-breaker.
Bryant supervised a gruelling, 30-minute training session for outstanding young player Chan Yik-lun.
In front of about 400 fans, the teenager was given what Bryant called 'a mini-version of my daily workout'.
Yik-lun, the Nike Youth Basketball League's Most Valuable Player this summer, barely managed to keep up with the instructions.
He was sweating profusely following the drills, which included shooting, dribbling, post-play and shuttle runs. At one point, Bryant provided passes for Yik-lun to take 100 consecutive shots.
'Listen to me - focus on what you're doing right now and forget everything that is around you,' snapped Bryant.
'When you get tired, you get lazy with your stance. Get down low and use your legs for power.'
Bryant, who was smiling and waving to the crowd, said there was only one way to become a good player.
'Practise, practise, practise - there are no short-cuts,' he said.
'This is the thing. If you did this workout every day for two and a half hours, you would become a phenomenal player.
'I work on these moves for hours and hours every day. I practise for eight hours, and take 1,000 shots every day.'
Bryant, who scored an incredible 81 points in an NBA game last season, gave out basketballs to the fans, and posed for photographs with a group of students.
'Seeing him close up is great,' said Lai Ka-kit, 15, from Tin Shui Wai Methodist College. 'I think what he said is valuable. He didn't waste any time talking about himself. He was serious. He showed us drills we can practise.'