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Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Scott Boras will honor one of Kobe Bryant’s last wishes, make Alexis Altobelli an intern

One of the last things Kobe Bryant did before he died in a helicopter crash last month was try to use his connections to help a family friend, and MLB agent Scott Boras is going to make sure Kobe’s wish is carried out.

Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, who was best friends with Kobe and the godfather of Gianna Bryant, told a touching story at the memorial service for Kobe and Gianna on Monday about how Kobe tried to help a family friend secure an internship in the minutes before his death. While flying in the helicopter that would eventually crash into the Calabasas hillside, Bryant texted Pelinka asking if the GM could contact “a certain baseball agent based in Southern California” on behalf of John Altobelli’s 16-year-old daughter, Alexis. Altobelli, a longtime baseball coach at Orange Coast College, also died in the helicopter crash with his wife Keri and 14-year-old daughter Alyssa, who played with Gianna at the Mamba Academy.

“Kobe’s last human act was heroic,” Pelinka said. “He wanted to use his platform to bless and shape a young girl’s future.”

Bryant wanted help from Pelinka getting in touch with Scott Boras, who Kobe hoped would consider Alexis for an internship. Boras told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times this week that he will create an internship for Alexis. The agent said plans were already in place before the crash to have John and Alexis visit Boras’ office and explore the possibility of Alexis gaining work experience by interning there. Boras knew John from when Dallas Keuchel — a Boras client — pitched simulated games against Altobelli’s OCC players to work on his arm strength.

Boras says he has been in contact with J.J. Altobelli, who is Alexis’ brother and a scout with the Boston Red Sox. Boras and Bryant belonged to the same church in Newport Beach but never exchanged phone numbers, which is why Kobe wanted Pelinka’s help getting in touch with Boras.

It’s impossible to imagine the pain Alexis and J.J. are experiencing after losing their mother, father and sister in a tragedy. John Altobelli was a respected member of the baseball community, and it sounds like both Alexis and J.J. are well positioned to carry out that legacy.

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