Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant wants young readers to understand the mental hurdles athletes face when chasing their dreams. Over the past three years, Bryant detailed that struggle in a new young adult book titled “Geese are Never Swans,” which was released Tuesday.
The book, which was co-written with psychologist Eva Clark, follows the story of Gus, a young swimmer with dreams of reaching the Olympics. Along the way, however, Gus encounters hardship and struggles with his mental health.
Clark told People that Bryant was interested in showing how athletes can heal after experiencing trauma.
“Kobe was very interested in showing this athlete that had this extreme drive stemming from trauma that’s [unfortunately] celebrated by people as successful,” Clark says. "But they're not in touch with their trauma, which is why they’re so angry.”
She continues: “Kobe really wanted to show the healing: how to accept help, connect with other people, take care of yourself and still have drive and still be a great athlete. When you're not fighting, you're able to see more, go further.”
In May, Vanessa Bryant provided a first look at “Geese are Never Swans.” In an Instagram post, she shared a preview of the book, saying it was one of her favorites books her husband worked on.
Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among the nine people killed in a helicopter crash in January. Bryant was 41.
Following his retirement from the NBA, Bryant explored both writing and filmmaking. “Geese are Never Swans” is the fifth novel co-written by Bryant. In 2018, Bryant won an Oscar for a short film titled “Dear Basketball.”
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