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Coach Cleo Hill Jr. said his players learned about the death of Kobe Bryant as their team practice was coming to an end on Sunday afternoon.

Winston-Salem State’s basketball team was going through a practice on Sunday afternoon, and Coach Cleo Hill Jr. said he and his team were learning about what happened to Kobe Bryant and were trying to process it.

“It’s shocking,” Hill said. “He was somebody that wasn’t all basketball and such an icon so it’s a sad day when you hear news like that.”

Hill said that Bryant, who was 41-years-old and died in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles, was an idol to many in this generation of college players.

“He was the guy along with LeBron (James) so the news is a shock,” Hill said.

The Rams were coming off a Saturday night win over Fayetteville State. Hill said practice wasn't going to be a long one because the Rams will play at Shaw on Monday night.

"We will talk more with the guys after the practice," Hill said. "It's a lesson about how life is so fragile."

jdell@wsjournal.com

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@johndellWSJ

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