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.
RIP KOBE , SO SAD , SUCH A SAD DAY N SAD NEWS , WE LOVE U
— LORD FLACKO JODYE II (@asvpxrocky) January 26, 2020
RIP Kobe. This is heartbreaking
— Khalid (@thegreatkhalid) January 26, 2020
Most people will remember Kobe as the magnificent athlete who inspired a whole generation of basketball players. But I will always remember him as a man who was much more than an athlete. pic.twitter.com/9EZuwk8wrV
— Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (@kaj33) January 26, 2020
There’s no words to express the pain Im going through with this tragedy of loosing my neice Gigi & my brother @kobebryant I love u and u will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW pic.twitter.com/pigHywq3c1
— SHAQ (@SHAQ) January 26, 2020
The Raptors and Spurs both took 24-second violations at the beginning of the game to honor Bryant and his jersey number, 24.
The Raptors and Spurs both took 24-second violations at the start of their game in honor of No. 24, Kobe Bryant.
The crowd gave a standing ovation along with Kobe chants. pic.twitter.com/C2VD5iZez9
— ESPN (@espn) January 26, 2020
Bryant’s last tweet to Lebron James passing him in the NBA all-time scoring list.
Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother #33644
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 26, 2020
Rest in peace king and young queen.