Kobe’s Father, Joe Bryant, Was In Japan During Earthquake

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LOS ANGELES (AP/CBS) — Kobe Bryant’s father Joe Bryant was reportedly in Japan during the 8.9 earthquake.

Kobe told KCAL 9’s John Ireland during his ESPN radio show that he had spoken to his parents Friday morning and said that they are safe and unhurt. They were, however, evacuated from their Tokyo hotel.

“Jellybean” Bryant, most recently was head coach of Raru Kamuy Hokkaido, a Japanese first division men’s team. He also taught at a private basketball academy in Japan.

Joe Bryant is also returning to the Los Angeles Sparks as an assistant coach.

He was head coach of the Sparks from late 2005 through the 2006 season. Also joining the team’s staff is Sandy Brondello. She and Bryant will assist second-year coach Jennifer Gillom.

Bryant started with the Sparks as an assistant and was promoted to head coach late in the 2005 season, guiding the team to a playoff appearance. In 2006, he led the team to a 25-9 record and the Western Conference finals.

Brondello was head coach of San Antonio’s WNBA team last season.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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