Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in helicopter crash

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CALABASAS, CA – Retired LA Lakers star Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were killed in a helicopter crash Sunday morning, authorities confirm.

Nine people were onboard Bryant’s private helicopter when it crashed. No one survived.

TMZ was the first outlet to confirm the 41-year-old athlete and his daughter “GiGi” were on their way to Mamba Academy for basketball practice when the crash occurred.

Bryant was helping to coach his daughter’s basketball team, and a recent viral video showed off his daughter’s “chip off the old block” moves.

Bryant has been using his personal helicopter, a Sikorsky S-76, to travel dating back to his Lakers years. He was known for commuting from Newport Beach, CA to the STAPLES Center in downtown LA.

Capt. Tony Imbrenda, LA County Fire Department, said the crash happened at 10 a.m. The cause of the crash is under investigation and the identities of the other victims have not yet been released.

Bryant and his wife, Vanessa, have four daughters — Gianna, Natalia, Bianca and newborn Capri.

Bryant was born in Philadelphia, Pa. He is the youngest of three children and the only son of former NBA player Joe Bryant and Pamela Cox Bryant.

The “Black Mamba,” as he is called, earned national recognition during a spectacular high school career at Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pa.

Bryant received several awards for his outstanding performance during his senior year including, Naismith High School Player of the Year, Gatorade Men’s National Basketball Player of the Year, a McDonald’s All-American, first-team Parade All-American and a USA Today All-USA First Team player.

Bryant was selected 13th overall in the NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets, but was traded to the Lakers where he spent his entire 20-year basketball career.

Bryant is a 5-time NBA Champion, 2-time NBA Finals MVP, NBA Most Valuable player, 2-time scoring champion, 18-time NBA All-Star, 4-time NBA All Star MVP, 15-time All-NBA team, 12-time All-Defensive team and 2-time Best ESPY NBA Player  Award.

Bryant also became the first basketball player to win a NBA title and an Academy Award.

Celebrities and former NBA players tweeted about the heart breaking news.

The Raptors and Spurs both took 24-second violations  at the beginning of the game to honor Bryant and his jersey number, 24.

Bryant’s last tweet to Lebron James passing him in the NBA all-time scoring list.

Rest in peace king and young queen.