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TOTALLY RANDOM

Bryant works steadily to build Kobe dynasty in China

According to the Wall Street Journal, Bryant has waged a 'deliberate campaign' to make inroads in the world's most populous country, including visits and charity work.

July 01, 2009|Mike Penner

Having conquered the NBA, Kobe Bryant has set his sights east, to the Far East -- China.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Bryant in recent years has waged a "deliberate campaign" to make inroads in the world's most populous country. That includes annual visits to China -- he has a trip planned in late July -- and the creation of the Kobe Bryant China Fund, a charity backed by the Chinese government designed to raise money for education and health programs.

Bryant is already immensely popular in China, where he sells more replica jerseys than Yao Ming. Terry Rhoads, the American managing director of Zou Marketing, says Bryant seems to have a sense of how to navigate in the country.

"Chinese fans adore Kobe on the court, but they also want to see affection for Chinese culture and people," Rhoads said. "The more time he spends in China, the more he will endear himself to millions of basketball-loving Chinese."

Bryant was honored as a "global ambassador" by the Asia Society of Southern California on Tuesday night at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Trivia time

When was the first Wimbledon held?

Make up your mind already

Former NFL quarterback Trent Green this week tried his hand at sportswriting, authoring a guest column for SI.com.

"You may have heard I recently decided to retire," Green wrote. "The decision was difficult. I can completely understand what Brett Favre is going through. I still feel like I can play and if I was in Brett's shoes, I would play. The Vikings have the potential to be a very good team, on both sides of the ball."

Green added: "I think I'm going crazy because I feel like we've been talking about Brett Favre and his retirement since the new millennium. You want to play, Brett? I hope you do. . . . But please decide by the start of training camp."

Tough standards

Meghan Huggins, a goalkeeper at Springdale (Ark.) Har-Ber High, has earned a scholarship to Lamar University.

"I wish I could major in soccer in college," she told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "but they make you get an actual degree in some kind of something."

Trivia answer

1877.

And finally

Montana Tech football Coach Bob Green to KTVM-TV of Butte, Mont.: "I hate to sound like an old coach, but I'm an old coach. I was coaching when the Dead Sea was only sick."

--

mike.penner@latimes.com

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