Kobe Bryant is officially getting into the book game.
EW has an exclusive first look at the cover for the first novel in a new YA fantasy series from the NBA legend. Created by Bryant and written by Wesley King, The Wizenard Series, beginning with Training Camp, will follow five young basketball players, one enlightening coach, and the transformative power of the game.
“Granity Studio’s first young-adult novel, The Wizenard Series: Training Camp, is about an inner-city basketball team, the West Bottom Badgers, and their magical coach, Rolabi Wizenard,” says Bryant, Granity’s CEO, in a statement. “The story unfolds through five novels, each told from the perspective of a player on the team, sharing their specific challenges, hopes, and fears. I hope readers will identify with and learn more about themselves through the diverse cast of characters and their journeys to self-acceptance. I created this sports fantasy series to represent, inspire, and entertain today’s young athletes, which is something I haven’t seen done before. It’s a story I wish had been available to me as a young athlete.”
Since retiring in 2016 as one of the most accomplished athletes of all time, Bryant has turned his focus away from basketball and toward storytelling. Earlier this year, the five-time NBA champion added “Oscar winner” to his résumé when Dear Basketball, which he wrote and narrated, was named Best Animated Short Film.
Slated for release March 19, The Wizenard Series: Training Camp is available for pre-order now.