HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ - The traditional Orange and Black was temporarily replaced with Purple and Gold when the Hasbrouck Heights girls basketball team practiced on Monday. The team donned colors of the L.A. Lakes in honor of Kobe Bryant who was killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning. Also, perishing in the flight where his daughter, Gianna, and seven others. 

The idea came from junior Veronica Legaspi who suggested it in the team's chat group on Sunday, according to Devon Sonzogni. They all agreed to the tribute.

According to head coach Mike Kilgallen, every day at practice the girls pick a color to wear. He said the selection is "usually pretty randomly chosen" but allows the Lady Aviators to do drills with teams with an additional option to just the reversible practice pinny. 

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"Today (Monday) when I got to practice, the girls had on purple and gold," said Kilgallen. "Before practice, we had spoken about the devastating tragedy to Kobe Bryant’s family and friends when reviewing our Wallington tip sheet. 

"It was seriously a moving gesture," he continued. "These kids just get it. They get the importance of being together, the honor it is to play high school sports, and the responsibility to pay it forward, like Kobe was doing. Our team is young in age, but they are wise beyond their years."

"We chose the purple and yellow to honor Kobe Bryant," said Paige McGuire. "We wanted to show our respect for someone who has inspired us to always be great and who was doing so much for women's sports."  


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