Toledo high school basketball, Ohio State and NBA star Jim Jackson offered an emotional tribute to Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash earlier in the day, at the start of the Michigan-Minnesota basketball game on Sunday.

Jackson who was serving as an on-air commentator for the game, was visibly upset by the news.

 “A loss for words. You never want to hear tragic news because of a personal relationship. I had the honor and the pleasure to be a teammate of Kobe Bryant's with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2006, even for a short period of time,” said Jackson."I knew the player, but I got to know the man behind the jersey, behind the mask. And it was an honor for me to be a part of. So for Kobe Bryant as we pray for his family, for his friends, his relatives that associated with him, the Los Angeles Lakers organization, we lost a great young man this afternoon.”

Jim Jackson was a teammate of Bryant’s in 2005-06 on the Los Angeles Lakers.

Jackson Jim Jackson is a basketball legend in the Toledo area, playing for the now closed Toledo Macomber Macmen, and leading them to a state championship in 1989. Jackson later went on to be a star for Ohio State where he played three seasons, earning first team All-American status and player of the year awards before leaving for the NBA. 

Jackson played for over 10 teams in a career that lasted from 1992 to 2006.

He ended his career in Los Angeles and was the last player to wear number 24 before Kobe Bryant.

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