SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) -- The helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter GiGi and seven others hit Central Illinois harder than you might think.

"I was devastated," Springfield's Linda Shanklin said "because we actually found out before it hit the press. To be honest, me and my husband just screamed."

Shanklin isn't just the mother of former NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala, who graduated from Springfield's Lanphier High School. Yes, her son was technically a "co-worker" of Bryant's. But that's not why she is in deep grieving over the NBA icon.

The news hit Linda and her husband Leonard Shanklin hard because of what Bryant did behind closed doors in 2006.

The place: Houston.

The occasion: The NBA Dunk Contest at All-Star Weekend

The scene: A fresh-faced 22-year-old Iguodala, in a dunk-off with Nate Robinson, completes his through-the-legs reverse but falls to Robinson despite the fact he needed 14 attempts.

With one simple word, Bryant changed the family's psyche in the moment, and from that point forward as well.

The word: Mom.

In this WAND feature story, Shanklin shares about the impact that Kobe's mentorship had on Iguodala.

Also included is the 6 p.m. broadcast in which Shanklin details the events of the day of the helicopter crash and how the family thought that Iguodala might be on the helicopter with the Bryants.

For Part 2, tune in on Wednesday at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.. Shanklin tells the story of getting to know Bryant's family during the 2012 Olympics in London.