Basketball Icon Kobe Bryant and 13-Year-old Daughter Gianna Dies in Helicopter Crash
One of the greatest athletes of our generation, Kobe Bryant, has passed away at the age of 41.
The NBA legend was on board his personal helicopter along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, also known as GiGi, when it crashed amid foggy conditions in the hills of Calabasas. According to the LA Times, a total of 9 people is believed to have been on board during the fatal crash. It is reported that they were of their way to Gianna’s basketball tournament at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks.
As news broke about the untimely death of Kobe and GiGi, an outpour of condolences flooded social media as sports fans, celebrities and fellow athletes and coaches reacted to in disbelief.
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
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
Words are tough to find right now. Truly heart broken and praying for each family involved. It was an honor to compete against you. pic.twitter.com/aYF5UNlZzy
— Mike Conley (@MCONLEY10) January 26, 2020
…This S*** can’t be real… this the first moment I was able to meet Gianna Maria, she’s been to only 3 games this year… 2 of them were mine… She told me I was her favorite player to watch🙏🏽 I can’t believe this😢😭
Rest Easy Gigi❤️ pic.twitter.com/IfDrE9Gjlv
— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) January 26, 2020
Kobe and Gianna meant a lot to our program. Our thoughts are with the Bryant family.
Mamba Mentality will live on forever, but they are deeply missed. 💙 pic.twitter.com/4Ib96yFxgg
— UConn Women’s Hoops (@UConnWBB) January 26, 2020
Like her father, Gianna was passionate about basketball. The 13-year-old had aspirations on playing for UConn and continuing her dads legacy. In fact, during an appearance on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Kobe shared that Gianna had interest in playing for the WNBA.
“The best thing that happens is when we go out and fans would come up to me and she’ll be standing next to me,” Bryant said. “and they’ll be like, ‘You’ve gotta have a boy, you and V gotta have a boy. You gotta have somebody to carry on your tradition, the legacy … She’s like, ‘Oy, I got this,” Bryant said. “I’m like, ‘that’s right’. Yes, you do, you got this.”
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“For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary. … 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.”
Not long ago a clip of the two sitting courtside when viral. In the video Kobe is seen explaining plays to Gianna.
Kobe and Gigi courtside breaking down the game 📋 pic.twitter.com/FxqSjVx6ew
— ESPN (@espn) December 22, 2019
Rest in Peace Kobe & Gianna Bryant
Photo Credit: Kobe Bryant/Instagram