Jase Febres discusses Kobe Bryant’s impact after hitting game-winner against TCU

Alex Briseño

Febres, who stood on the logo near half-court several feet behind the 3-point line, had no option but to throw up a desperation shot. The last-second heave, which seemingly hung in the air before eventually flying through the net, served as the Longhorns’ game-winner in their 62-61 victory over TCU on Wednesday night. 

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Jase Febres goes for a team-high 15 (5-7 3pt FG) to lead the #Longhorns to a big 62-61 road win over TCU. Horns shoot 50% from the arc (11-22) as they snap a 3-game losing skid. #HookEm : ESPN+ https://t.co/zIu7zm5NQB

“We’ve had a couple of those possessions where the shot clock was running down, and (I was) just shot ready regardless,” Febres said in an ESPN interview after the game. “I knew I was going to have to take the shot, so (I was) just sticking to my form and sticking to my shot principles, and it went in. It was a good look and a good feeling.”

After the game, Febres was asked to describe the impact NBA star Kobe Bryant, who was one of the nine killed in a helicopter crash Sunday in Calabasas, California, had on him as somebody who grew up watching Kobe.  

“We didn’t grow up watching (Michael) Jordan, we grew up watching Kobe,” Febres said. “Losing someone like that, these past couple of days my heart has been heavy. I just haven’t been feeling right. I didn’t get to meet Kobe personally, but the impact he’s had on the entire NCAA and basketball period, you want to be like him. You want to have that aggressive mindset like him. He’s just a guy that a lot of people look up to. He’s going to continue to be a guy that I play for — just play my heart out — and look to make him proud.”

The crash, which also killed Kobe’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, has led to tributes from teams and players from all over the world. 

NBA players and college players alike scribbled tributes on their sneakers, while TCU players were seen wearing Kobe Bryant shooting shirts during Wednesday night’s game in Fort Worth. 

As for Febres, his personal tribute came in the form of a team-high 15 points after knocking down five of his seven 3-pointers. Febres’ game-winner ends the Longhorns’ three-game losing streak as they look to fight back into the NCAA Tournament conversation. Texas now gets ready for a home matchup with Iowa State on Saturday at 1 p.m.