Baseball agent Scott Boras told the Los Angeles Times he will honor Kobe Bryant’s wishes and create an internship for the late John Altobelli’s surviving 16-year-old daughter, Alexis.
Pelinka said he was in church on Jan. 26 when he received a text message from Bryant, who wanted to know if he could help him contact “a certain baseball agent based in Southern California.” Bryant wanted to recommend Alexis for an internship at the agent’s office.
While Bryant was texting Pelinka, he and his daughter were on the helicopter ride that would end their lives. Also on board were seven others, including John Altobelli, wife Keri and their younger daughter, 14-year-old Alyssa, who was Gianna Bryant’s teammate on the Mamba basketball team.
“Kobe’s last human act was heroic,” Pelinka said. “He wanted to use his platform to bless and a shape a young girl’s future.”
Within days of Bryant’s death, Boras said he was contacted by Pelinka, whom he had recently met at a Lakers game.
Boras was a longtime acquaintance of John Altobelli, the legendary Orange Coast College baseball coach. The agent said the coach always offered help but never asked for anything in return. When Boras’ client, Dallas Keuchel, was a free agent after the 2019 baseball season started, the former Cy Young Award winner built his arm strength by pitching simulated games against Altobelli’s OCC players.
Vanessa Bryant speaks at the memorial for her husband, Kobe Bryant, and daughter Gianna on Monday at Staples Center. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Michael Jordan helps Vanessa Bryant off the stage after her speech. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
An emotional Michael Jordan speaks at Monday’s event. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Alicia Keys performs at the Kobe & Gianna Bryant Celebration of Life. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Shaquille O’Neal brought smiles to the crowd as he shared memories of Kobe. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Phil Jackson, former coach of the Lakers, is among mourners at Monday’s event. (Wally Sklaij / Los Angeles Times)
Late-night TV talk show host Jimmy Kimmel opened Monday’s vigil. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
WNBA superstar Diana Taurasi, whom Kobe Bryant called the “White Mamba,” talked about the Lakers superstar and his influence. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images)
About 20,000 attended the sold-out memorial. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Michael Jorden takes a moment after speaking. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times/Los Angeles Times)
Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka spoke during the vigil of receiving a text from Kobe Bryant the morning of the crash, trying to arrange an internship for Lexi Altobelli, whose mother, father and sister died in the helicopter crash that also claimed the lives of Bryant and his daughter. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
UConn women’s basketball head coach Geno Auriemma, among the speakers, said, “I’m here as a father, not as a basketball coach.” (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Mourners, many of them in Lakers jerseys, watch the proceedings. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Oregon basketball star Sabrina Ionescu, whom Bryant mentored, spoke at Monday’s memorial. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Christina Aguilera preforms at Staples Center. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
At Staples Center, center court featured roses and the overhead video board showed photos of the Bryant family. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Beyoncé leaves Staples Center. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez leave Staples Center. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Boras’ sons were youth baseball players in Orange County around the same time as Altobelli’s son, J.J., who played in college at Oregon and is now a scout with the Boston Red Sox.
Boras and Bryant were part of the same congregation at Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Newport Beach. Boras said they spoke from time to time but never exchanged phone numbers.
Before John Altobelli died, Boras had invited him and Alexis to tour the Boras Corp. office. Boras said a plan was already in place for them to sit down and figure out how Alexis could gain experience working there.
Bryant wanted to be a character reference for her.
Boras has been in contact with J.J. and will create a position for Alexis, who will be able to rotate through the company’s various departments, including marketing, baseball operations, sports science and office administration.