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Kobe Bryant is a basketball player competing at the 2012 London Summer Olympics for the USA.

A 14-time NBA All-Star, Kobe Bryant makes his second Olympic appearance in London. Prior to 2012, he had not suited up for Team USA since the 2008 Olympics, where he averaged 15.0 points per game and led the team with 17 3-pointers in eight games, including two big fourth-quarter three-pointers that helped fend off Spain in the gold-medal game. Yet, for all of his offensive skills, Bryant has prided himself more on defense with the national team, often volunteering to guard the opposing team's best player. "If they have a great guard, whoever the head of the snake is over there, it's my responsibility to try to take him out," Bryant said prior to the Beijing Games.

Bryant first donned the red, white and blue at the 2007 FIBA Americas tournament, in which the U.S. went 10-0 and qualified for the Beijing Games. "It's a chance to represent your country," Bryant says. "This is our way of being soldiers. This is what we do, is play basketball. It's like our way of representing our country — on a small scale." Playing for Team USA is something he always wanted to do. About his first opportunity, Bryant said, "I stayed in my uniform all night long the first night I got it. Just because I always wanted to play for the U.S. since I was a kid; my chance was finally here. I was just extremely excited." He was slated to appear in the 2006 World Championships, but surgery on his right knee in July 2006 kept him sidelined. And he declined USA Basketball's invitation to join the 2004 Olympic team, as he was facing sexual assault charges that were later dropped.

The 2012 U.S. Olympic men's basketball team will again be rich with talent, but few boast the professional accolades of Bryant. The Los Angeles Laker and five-time NBA champion won the NBA MVP award in 2008; was the NBA Finals MVP in 2009 and 2010; was the league's scoring champion after the 2006 and 2007 seasons; has earned All-NBA honors in each of the last 14 seasons (first team 10 times); has been named to the NBA's All-Defensive team 12 times (first team nine times); and was voted by the fans as a starter for the Western Conference All-Star Team in each of the past 14 years, earning All-Star Game MVP honors four times (2002, 2007, 2009, 2011). Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (19) and Shaquille O'Neal (15) have been selected to more NBA All-Star games than Bryant, who is fifth all-time among NBA scoring leaders and is the highest-scoring active player. Bryant's career high is 81 points in a game, which he achieved on Jan. 22, 2006, and ranks as the second highest-scoring game of all time.

The son of former NBA player Joe "Jellybean" Bryant, Kobe was drafted in 1996 straight out of high school by the Charlotte Hornets at No. 13, but traded within weeks to Los Angeles, with whom he has played his entire career. He was the first player in Los Angeles franchise history to make the transition from high school to the pros. At 18 years and 72 days old when he made his NBA debut on Nov. 3, 1996, Bryant was the youngest player ever to appear in a regular-season NBA game (although that mark was later eclipsed by Jermaine O'Neal and Andrew Bynum). In just his second season, the 19-year-old Bryant became the youngest All-Star in NBA history when he was voted a starter for the 1998 game — despite starting just one game all year for the Lakers. He is now the franchise's all-time leading scorer.

At Lower Merion High in Ardmore, Pa., Bryant became the all-time leading scorer in Southeastern Pennsylvania history (2,883 points), exceeding the marks of Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain (2,359). As a senior, Bryant was named USA Today's National High School Player of the Year after averaging 30.8 points, 12.0 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 4.0 steals and 3.8 blocked shots and leading Lower Merion to the Class 4A state title. He was also awarded the Naismith High School Player of the Year, Gatorade Circle of Champions High School Player of the Year and named to the McDonald's All-American Team.

Bryant spent eight years of his childhood in Italy and speaks Italian fluently. His parents, Joe and Pam, named him after a type of steak (Kobe) seen on a restaurant menu prior to his birth. He has two older sisters, Sharia and Shaya. Bryant was married to his now ex-wife Vanessa in April 2001; they were divorced in January 2012. They have two daughters, Natalia Diamante and Gianna Maria Onore.

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How tall is Kobe Bryant? How old is Kobe Bryant? Where does Kobe Bryant live? Find out here.

Age: 38 years old
Birthday: August 23, 1978
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 205 lbs.
Nickname: The Black Mamba
Full Name / Real Name: Kobe Bean Bryant
Birthplace: Philadelphia, PA
Current Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Wife: Vanessa Laine Bryant (4/18/2001)

"Extreme Weight Loss" (TV show) host Chris Powell and Heidi Powell 'Extreme Weight Loss' Season 5 Participants Announced — Premiering Tuesday, May 26, the new season of the ABC reality series will feature guest stars such as Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Byron Scott and James Worthy, Ne-Yo, Chris Bosh, LeSean McCoy, Amy Van Dyken, Mia Hamm, Holly Robinson Peete and Mario Andretti. Read more...

Ryan Lochte Ryan Lochte Races Over to '90210' — Fresh off of his five medal wins from the 2012 London Olympics, the swimmer will make a cameo on the episode airing Monday, October 29, on The CW. Read more...
Gabby Douglas London Olympics Is Most-Watched TV Event in US History — More than 219 million people watched the 2012 London Olympics, surpassing the 215 million from the 2008 Beijing Games. Read more...
Bob Costas in "Football Night in America" '2012 London Olympic Games' Hosts and Correspondents Announced — Bob Costas, a 22-time Emmy Award-winning broadcaster, returns as the primetime host of the summer games, which begin Friday, July 27. Read more...





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