FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — New Boston Red Sox outfielder Kevin Pillar grew up in the Los Angeles area as a Lakers fan and named his daughter “Kobie,” after Kobe Bryant.

He said he was most impressed with what Bryant has done after he retired from the NBA. Pillar said he hopes to write a children’s book about baseball like the one Bryant wrote about basketball, but he was waiting until his playing career is over to approach Bryant about it.

READ MORE: Blizzard Warning For Potentially Historic Storm That's Likely To Bring More Than 2 Feet Of Snow

“That’s something that’s going to haunt me,” Pillar said.

READ MORE: Boston Declares Snow Emergency Ahead Of Potentially Historic Nor'easter

Bryant died in a helicopter crash Jan. 26 with his 12-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven other people. Pillar said he was at a park with his wife and daughter when he saw a tweet reporting the news, but he couldn’t believe it at first.

“I’ll have that memory as long as I live,” he said.

MORE NEWS: How Mac Jones' Stats Compare With Rookie Seasons Of Quarterbacks Playing In Conference Championships

(© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)