Mets rookie 1B Pete Alonso has really broke out onto the scene this season, with the possibility of hitting 50 home runs in his first season in the majors. Future Basketball Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant, who famously gave himself the nickname “Black Mamba,” became one of the NBA’s all-time greats during his 20-year career with the Lakers.
Bryant has introduced a new app intended to help younger athletes hone their skills, and Pete Alonso is taking advantage of the app to help constantly improve his game.
Kobe Bryant’s post-playing career
Bryant has remained very much in the limelight since retiring from the NBA in 2016 as a five-time NBA champion. He has largely mended what was at times in the past a fractured relationship with former teammate Shaquille O’Neal.
O’Neal was at the Staples Center for Bryant’s final NBA game, and he was the first person Bryant embraced after he was taking out of the game with 4.1 seconds remaining. Bryant also attended the unveiling of Shaq’s statue outside Staples Center a year later.
Bryant has also enjoyed success outside of the sports world since calling it a career on the hardwood. He added another statuette to his trophy case in 2018 when he won that year’s Academy Award for Best Animated Short for his short film Dear Basketball. Now one of his latest post-NBA projects has been released, an app for young athletes called Mamba RISE.
What is Mamba RISE?
Bryant’s Mamba Sports Venture Lab has launched the smartphone app — its first product — that is part-game and part-mental exercise. It is intended to bring his famous Mamba Mentality to other sports, with baseball, football, and volleyball included in the app at launch; a basketball version is forthcoming.
It is aimed at kids who want to hone their skills in the sports they play, such as helping a young baseball player read pitchers or teaching a quarterback to read coverages better. But it is also being used at the professional level by using actual game footage to help Major League Baseball players study for their upcoming opponents.
The app was tested at essentially all levels of competitive sports, from youth travel teams to minor league players, and Bryant had the final sign-off on both the app’s functionality and look. Mamba RISE is currently available for iOS devices.
Pete Alonso is all in on Mamba RISE
Among the app’s biggest proponents among the professional ranks is Pete Alonso. The presumptive National League Rookie of the Year is not only a Mamba RISE user, but he’s also the face of the baseball part of the app — literally.
When you get into baseball mode, Pete Alonso greets you, and you can compete against him to see how quickly you can read a pitch as it’s coming out of the pitcher’s hand. Alonso has nothing but high praise to say about both Bryant and the app.
He told Yahoo Sports that he was “all for” working with the NBA great “because he’s a competitor and a champion. To align myself with that type of winning mentality is really cool.” When talking to Yahoo about the app, Pete Alonso said “it has the potential to be extremely beneficial” because it features four different pitches — changeup, curveball, fastball, and slider — in high school, college, and professional settings. Alonso all calls the app “really important” because “it’s a challenge,” which players need if they want to improve.
While Pete Alonso and other pros are among the app’s user base, impacting young athletes is what Bryant and his team are really hoping to accomplish with Mamba RISE. According to a Mamba Sports Academy spokesperson, the app’s goal is to strengthen youngsters’ baseball IQ while limiting the wear-and-tear on their bodies.