08/07/2003 at 12:00 AM EDT
Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant appeared in court in Eagle, Colo., for the first time Wednesday to face charges that he sexually assaulted a 19-year-old woman at a resort last month.
Although the court appearance lasted less than 10 minutes and the Lakers star only uttered two words, "No, sir" -- in response to Judge Frederick Gannett's question to whether he objected to waiving his right to a preliminary hearing within 30 days -- it's estimated that more than 500 reporters, cameramen and other media turned out to capture the moment, reports Reuters.
Bryant, 24, did not stop to speak with the assembled press before or after his appearance, though he did appear on FOX TV Wednesday night, accepting the award for favorite male athlete at the Teen Choice Awards. "We're flying through some dark clouds," Bryant said during the show, which was taped last Saturday, according to the Associated Press. "With God's will, the sun will rise and shine again. Thanks for your support, thanks for your prayers."
Bryant admitted at a press conference that he had sex with a 19-year-old employee at a Colorado resort on June 30 but denies her claims of sexual assault. He remains free on $25,000 bond.