New signing Amadou Onana has chosen to wear Everton’s number eight shirt – and has revealed the basketball legend who inspired his selection.
The late Kobe Bryant is one of Onana’s sporting idols, with the LA Lakers great having worn the number for the first 10 years of his pro career before switching to 24 – the number Onana donned at Lille and previously at Hamburg.
Bryant’s legacy at LA Lakers is underlined by the fact the eight and 24 jerseys have been retired by the franchise in his honour.
On the responsibility of wearing number eight for Everton, Onana said: “Yes, it’s a big number. It’s a heavy one.
“The history behind it is that I am a big, big fan of Kobe Bryant. His work ethic and the way he was [inspired me].
“I’ve wore his numbers [in the past]…the 24 I had before and now the number eight, so I am happy to have that number for Everton.”
Fabian Delph was the latest Everton player to wear number eight. During the Premier League era, the likes of Paul Rideout, Graham Stuart, Tomasz Radzinski, Ross Barkley and Andy Johnson have donned the shirt.