Basketball legend Kobe Bryant and 13-year old daughter Gianna Maria Onore die in helicopter crash. He was 41

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Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers legend who was considered one of the greatest basketball players of his generation, has died in a helicopter crash. He was 41.

He passed away with his 13-year old daughter Gianna Maria Onore who was known as GiGi. There were also seven other persons on board who also died.

A college baseball coach John Altobelli, his daughter Alyssa Altobelli and wife Keri Altobelli were among those killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday along with Basketball legend Kobe Bryant and 13-year old daughter Gianna Onore, a girls’ basketball coach Christina Mauser and three other persons.

Altobelli had three children, according to his profile on Orange Coast College’s website. Son J.J., a baseball scout for the Boston Red Sox, daughter Alexis, and daughter Alyssa who died along with him and his wife. Alyssa was a teammate of Gigi on their Mamba Academy basketball team.

Christina Mauser, a girls’ basketball coach was also killed in the crash on Sunday, as well as three other persons who were yet to be identified.

Mauser worked at a private school in Orange County, California. She was among nine people killed when their helicopter crashed in Calabasas, according to Costa Mesa mayor Katrina Foley.

Kobe Bryant spent all 20 years of his NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers and retired in 2016. He won five championships and was an 18-time all-star.

TMZ first reported the passing of Kobe Bryant along with eight other persons in a helicopter crash.

The crash occurred around 10 a.m. local time in foggy conditions above Calabasas, about 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Kobe Bryant, daughter and others were said to be on a private helicopter in Calabasas, in Los Angeles County.

All of them died, according to a tweet by the LA County Sheriffs.

What are people saying?

Tributes continued to pour in for Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers legend who was considered one of the greatest basketball players of his generation. Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash at age 41 along with his 13-year old daughter Gianna Maria Onore who was known as GiGi. There were also three other unidentified persons on board who also died.

“The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna.

“For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning. He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary: five NBA championships, an NBA MVP award, 18 NBA All-Star selections, and two Olympic gold medals. But he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability.

“He was generous with the wisdom he acquired and saw it as his mission to share it with future generations of players, taking special delight in passing down his love of the game to Gianna.

“We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Vanessa, and their family, the Lakers organization and the entire sports world.”

Shaquille O’Neal remembered his friend and former Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant with touching words as well following news reports he had died.

“There are no words to express the pain I’m going through now with this tragic and sad moment of loosing my neice Gigi & my friend, my brother, my partner in winning championships, my dude and my homie,” O’Neal wrote in an Instagram caption, alongside a photo of him carrying Bryant.

“I love you and you will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW !”

Where did Kobe Bryant die?

Kobe Bryant was with eight other people in Calabasas, Los Angeles County, in California, when he died on Sunday January 26, 2020, in a helicopter crash, the LA County Sheriffs said in a tweet.

How old was Kobe Bryant when he died?

Kobe was 41 years old when he died. He was born on August 23, 1978, and passed away on January 26, 2020.

Who was Kobe Bryant?

Kobe Bean Bryant was an American professional basketball player who played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

His wikipedia page says Kobe Bryant entered the NBA directly from high school and won five NBA championships.

Bryant was an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, 12-time member of the All-Defensive team and was the NBA’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 2008.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, he led the NBA in scoring during two seasons, ranks fourth on the league’s all-time regular season scoring and fourth on the all-time postseason scoring list.

Bryant was the first guard in NBA history to play at least 20 seasons.

Where did Kobe Bryan grow up?

Bryant was born in Philadelphia, the youngest of three children and only son of former NBA player Joe Bryant and Pamela Cox Bryant. He was said to have enjoyed a successful high school basketball career at Lower Merion High School in Pennsylvania, where he was recognized as the top high school basketball player in the country.

It was from there that upon graduation, he declared for the 1996 NBA draft and was selected by the Charlotte Hornets with the 13th overall pick; the Hornets then traded him to the Lakers.

It is said that as a rookie, Bryant earned himself a reputation as a high-flyer and a fan favorite by winning the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest, and he was named an All-Star by his second season.

Despite a feud between the two players, Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal led the Lakers to three consecutive NBA championships from 2000 to 2002.

Did Kobe Bryant have a wife or children?

According to his wikipedia page, in November 1999, 21-year-old Bryant met 17-year-old Vanessa Laine while she was working as a background dancer on the Tha Eastsidaz music video “G’d Up”. Bryant was in the building and working on his debut musical album. The two began dating and became engaged just six months later in May 2000, while Laine was still a senior at Marina High School in Huntington Beach, California. To avoid media scrutiny, she finished high school through independent study. According to Vanessa’s cousin Laila Laine, there was no prenuptial agreement. Vanessa said Bryant “loved her too much for one”.

They married on April 18, 2001, at St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church in Dana Point, California.The wedding was not attended by Bryant’s parents, his two sisters, his longtime advisor and agent Arn Tellem, or his Laker teammates. Bryant’s parents were opposed to the marriage for a number of reasons. Reportedly Bryant’s parents had problems with him marrying so young, especially to a woman who was not African-American. This disagreement resulted in an estrangement period of over two years, which ended when the couple’s first daughter was born.

Simon Ateba

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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