The sports world was rocked yesterday when news of basketball legend Kobe Bryant’s death began to spread. Bryant, who was only 41, died in a helicopter crash outside of Los Angeles. Tragically, eight other people on board the helicopter died as well, including Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter. Here’s everything we know so far:
- The helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California, which is about 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The crash occurred around 10 a.m. local time on Sunday and the craft went down in a field.
- Nine people died in the crash—all occupants of the helicopter. The nine dead include Bryant and his daughter, Gianna; Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, as well as his wife, Keri, and their daughter, Alyssa; Christina Mauser, an Orange County assistant girls basketball coach was also on board, reports CNN. At this time it’s unknown who the remaining three others are who perished in the crash. No one on the ground was injured.
- The occupants of the helicopter were flying to Thousand Oaks, California, a city 40 miles west of Los Angeles. Bryant’s daughter, Gianna, was scheduled to play a basketball game there, with Bryant himself coaching the game.
- The cause of the crash is not yet known, but the National Transportation Safety Board is already deep into its investigation. The NTSB says the type of helicopter that the passengers were flying in was a Sikorsky S-76B.
- A local witness, Gavin Masak, said of the crash: “It wasn’t exactly like an explosion sound but it was like a loud boom. It sounded like a helicopter, but it sounded like a jet, like it was loud, so I went inside and told my dad what was happening. So when I came out I saw smoke on the hill but it wasn’t like a big, black cloud of smoke, it was just grey.” (via BBC)
When news of the crash and Bryant’s death broke, tributes to the basketball legend began pouring in.
Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) 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