Long before Kobe Bryant became a superstar with the Los Angeles Lakers, he showed his passion for the game on a San Diego blacktop.
Kobe Bryant was 3 years old when he went to Gillispie School In La Jolla. It was the early 80s and his father, Joe "Jellybean" Bryant, was playing basketball for the then-San Diego Clippers.
Kobe Bryant loved shooting hoops on the Gillispie playground. His pre-school teacher shared memories of her young student with now retired assistant head of school Jim Stewart.
"Mrs. Morton was his teacher at the time and she said it was impossible to get him inside the classroom," said Stewart. "She would try to lure him with snacks, lure him with toys, nothing would bring him inside. He would stay on the playground and play basketball."
The school has been remodeled since Kobe Bryant's days. Where his pre-school classroom once stood, there is now a gymnasium. It was not planned that way.
No one could have known what a superstar he would become, but there were certainly clues.
"They knew they had a star on their hands even then," said Stewart.