Kobe Bryant Meets First Black Player for Minneapolis Lakers
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

Recently, Kobe Bryant–one of the greatest athletes of all time who is in his last season as a professional basketball player–met Bob Williams, the first black player for the Minneapolis Lakers. They both have iconic legacies with the franchise.

[Related: Kobe Bryant Gives Basketball His Dear John Letter]

Williams was a member of the Minneapolis Lakers in the mid-1950s and was the first African American player on the team. He and his wife, Marietta, spent some time talking with soon-to-be-retired Kobe Bryant at a Minneapolis game.

“It was awesome for me to talk to him even though I was 40 years before him,” Williams told CBS Minneapolis. “He said it was an honor to meet me.”

Williams, who settled in the city after his basketball career, co-founded the Fellowship for Christian Athletes and remained a Lakers fan after the team left the city for Los Angeles.

“Once a Laker, you are always a Laker,” he added.

Watch footage below of the two meeting via CBS Minneapolis:

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Janell Hazelwood

Janell Hazelwood is associate managing editor at Black Enterprise, managing content across core areas of Money, Career, Small Business and Technology. She is also a featured blogger with My Two Cents, providing insights on branding, millennial career development, employment trends and leadership. She was previously a content producer and copy editor for Black Enterprise magazine, working across several editorial sections. The Hampton University graduate got her start in the newspaper industry, having worked for companies including The New York Times and Scripps Howard News Service. Her works and insights have appeared on The Huffington Post, MadameNoire, E!Online, Brazen Careerist, CBS News, and Arise TV.


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