West No. 4 Duke is taking on top seed Oregon Thursday night in Anaheim, and the proximity to Los Angeles opened up the possibility of an esteemed guest showing up to support the Blue Devils.
That guest: Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, who’s played for Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski on the United States Olympic Team (winning gold at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics) and has been a family friend for years. Shortly before tipoff Bryant made his way to his seat in the Duke cheering section, exchanging pleasantries with Krzyzewski’s wife and grandsons in the process.
And during the first half Oklahoma senior guard Buddy Hield got to meet the “Black Mamba.”
Bryant’s playing career will come to an end this season, as he announced in mid-January that he won’t be representing the country in the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.