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Basketball Icon Kobe Bryant and 13-Year-old Daughter Gianna Dies in Helicopter Crash

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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.

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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Gigi working on that stroke #wristwork #wnbafinals

A post shared by Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) on

“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.

Rest in Peace Kobe & Gianna Bryant

Photo Credit: Kobe Bryant/Instagram