On Sunday, September 10, the 2023 U.S. Open concluded with tennis legend Novak Djokovic defeating Daniil Medvedev and earning his 24th Grand Slam victory.
After securing yet another Grand Slam title, Djokovic donned a “Mamba Forever” t-shirt, a powerful homage to his late friend, the basketball legend known for his relentless work ethic and unwavering determination—the embodiment and creator of the Mamba Mentality. This heartfelt gesture demonstrated Djokovic’s deep admiration and respect for Kobe Bryant, transcending the boundaries of their respective sports.
Drew Hassenbein was not only an avid supporter of Djokovic but also an passionate admirer of Kobe Bryant. Not only did Drew admire Kobe Bryant for his his skills and results on the court, but the work ethic and attitude that he possessed all the time. Those who knew Drew well often highlighted the striking similarities between him and the late basketball legend, especially in their fierce competitiveness and unyielding mental fortitude. Drew epitomized the Mamba Mentality in his own life, leaving an indelible mark on all who knew him.
Drew’s final English assignment, completed just a week before his passing, revolved around the thought-provoking book, “The Five People You Meet in Heaven.” Drew approached this assignment with the same dedication and passion he displayed in all his endeavors. He penned an evocative essay, delving into the imagined scenario of meeting his hero, Kobe Bryant, in the afterlife. In this touching piece, Drew explored what it would be like to converse with the basketball legend among the clouds.
We know that Drew and Kobe were watching the match and enjoying Djokovic’s victory courtside from the VIP section above.