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Kobe Bryant Showed Soccer Skills in Charity Soccer Game

Jerry Sanchez@jerrysan_3Correspondent IJuly 30, 2011

It seems as if Kobe Bryant's knees are feeling pretty fine.

"The Black Mamba" will play in a celebrity soccer game Sunday in Washington, D.C. This game is played to benefit the Mia Hamm Foundation as well as the Children's National Medical Center.

The hosts of this game will be a great female soccer player, Mia Hamm with her husband and former Dodgers player Nomar Garciaparra.

For those who did not know, Kobe's father, Joe "Jellybean" Bryant, played professional basketball in Italy. When Kobe was only six years old, Joe Bryant and his family moved to Italy. For Kobe, it was a lot harder to find kids to play basketball with.

The more popular sport in Italy was soccer. So Kobe would play soccer with the kids around him. Soon after "Jellybean" Bryant retired, they went back to Philadelphia and he went back to basketball.

Kobe claims he would have tried to become a professional soccer if he hadn't played basketball. As a kid he rooted for AC Milan, a famous soccer team in Italy. Now he is a huge fan of arguably the best soccer team in the world, FC Barcelona. He has even appeared in their practices. 

I'm sure everyone wouldn't be surprised if they saw Kobe score a couple of goals on Sunday's game at Kastles Stadium. 

Other celebrities include: U.S. women's national team members Alex Morgan and Ali Krieger, former DC United star Eddie Pope, Boston Celtic standout Jeff Green, Washington Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall, Washington Caps defenseman John Carlson, Around the Horn host Tony Reali, FC Barcelona's Pep Guardiola, former DC United star John Harkes, and NBC4 sports anchor Dan Hellie.

For a complete list of all the participants visit celebritysoccerchallenge.com.

Update:

Kobe began the game out on the field and finished playing goalkeeper. He scored an own goal as well as a goal in favor of his team.

It was a great event in which the only bad thing was the announcer's mistake in Kobe's number.

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