Hot Links: Trae Young pays tribute to Kobe Bryant

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Trae Young, who had developed a special relationship with both Kobe and Gianna Bryant, paid tribute to the late legend on Sunday.

The normal introduction doesn’t apply to today as the world of sports and beyond continue to mourn the tragic loss of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. Our thoughts are with the Bryant family.

Trae Young, who had developed a special bond with both Kobe and Gianna over the past year and had FaceTimed with the two of them just hours before their passing, paid tribute as fittingly as anyone. The OU product and Norman native wore Kobe Bryant’s No. 8 at the beginning of the game, and he would go on to score 45 points on 24 attempts.

“He was with me tonight”, said Young following the game.

Now on to this week’s Monday edition of Hot Links. The Oklahoma Sooners have a new No. 1 on defense, Lon Kruger picks up an in-state verbal commitment for 2021, and more.

OU Links

  • Spencer Rattler hasn’t officially been named Oklahoma’s starting QB yet, but he’s already gaining a lot of momentum in offseason Heisman Trophy odds. According to SuperBookUSA, the redshirt freshman out of Phoenix, Ariz. currently has the third-best odds to win college football’s most prestigious award in 2020.

  • Orlando Brown Jr. made this year’s Pro Bowl, and before the festivities kicked off he wanted to represent his late father by wearing his old man’s jersey from his own playing days with the Baltimore Ravens. A great gesture from this son and Sooner for life.

  • OU junior right-handed pitcher Cade Cavalli was named a preseason third-team All-American by Baseball America. Cavalli is part of a relatively deep and experienced collection of pitchers that Oklahoma will rely on this season.

  • OU junior Kaitlin Milligan has accepted an invitation to play in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur ahead of The Masters tournament in April. Congratulations on such a phenomenal honor, Kaitlin!

  • Once again, OU women’s gymnastic is still ranked No. 1 for the fourth week in a row. Something tells me this year’s group is special, even by Oklahoma’s standards.

  • In the latest bracketology update from CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm, Oklahoma is solidly included in the NCAA Tournament mix as a No. 9 seed. If the Sooners can finish Big 12 play at or above .500, they should be a virtual lock for the Big Dance.
  • Speaking of hoops, class of 2021 three-star point guard Bijan Cortes out of Kingfisher, Oklahoma verbally committed to OU on Sunday. According to 247Sports, this 6’1” prospect is also the No. 3 player in the Sooner State. He currently holds offers from Oklahoma State, Tulsa, North Texas and Oral Roberts.

Around the Sports World

  • I highly recommend that you check out this touching goodbye to Kobe Bryant from Harrison Faigen over at Silver Screen & Roll. Words will never be enough, but for now it’ll suffice to remember an icon of his magnitude.

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Source: Crimson and Cream Machine