Lakers legend, Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna have been confirmed dead in a helicopter crash that claimed the lives of all onboard. The tragic incident which occurred on Sunday morning in Calabasas, California claimed the lives of 9 people including Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna Maria Onore. They were all traveling in Bryant’s private Sikorsky S-76 helicopter. Gianna Bryant A.K.A Gigi was said to have been traveling with her father to Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks for basketball practice.
As at the time of the incident, authorities said that they were unsure what had caused the crash but that further investigations will be conducted. Later in the day, sources confirmed that the L.A. weather was extremely foggy and that even the LAPD air support could not fly because of the fog. It was gathered that the pilot of the chopper contacted the control tower at Burbank Airport at about 9:30 AM after they had hovered around the L.A. Zoo for about 15 minutes. They were reportedly flying at around 875 feet and had circled the area about 6 times. The pilot was probably waiting for the fog to clear before proceeding on their trip.
The pilot eventually turned north, then later west but encountered heavier fog. The chopper had to turn south toward a mountainous area and they climbed from 1200 feet up to 2000 feet.
They flew into a mountain moments later at 1700 feet. When the chopper crashed, a fire broke out and emergency personnel responded at about 10 A.M. All nine people on board were confirmed dead when the team got to the crash site.
Kobe Bryant had on many occasions used his Sikorsky S-76 helicopter to travel. When he played for the Lakers he would often fly from Newport Beach, CA to the Staples Center in DTLA in the chopper.
The 41-year-old was considered one of the greatest NBA players of all time. His 20-year career with the Lakers began in 1996 when he was round-picked in that year’s draft. During his career, Bryant won 18 All-Star titles, 5 NBA championships, and 2 NBA Finals MVPs. In 2008, he was the league MVP.
At 34, Bryant made history by becoming the youngest player in NBA history to exceed the 30,000 point mark. He made several Olympic appearances for the U.S. during his career. In 2018, KB bagged an Oscar award for his short film, “Dear Basketball.”
Kobe Bryant’s daughter Gigi was a rising star basketball player and was recently spotted at the NBA games with her father. She played at her father’s Mamba Sports Academy and had aspirations to be in the WNBA.
KB and his daughter is survived by his wife Vanessa Bryant whom he married in 2001, and his three daughters Natalia, Bianca and
A memorial to the late basketball legend
is already being held outside of Staples Center, where he played for years. Celebrities from across the world have taken to social media to express their shock and pay tribute to the former Lakers star. Foremost among them is former U.S. president, Barack Obama, Michael Jordan, Khloe Kardashian, Shaquille O’Neal, Chrissy Teigen, Demi Lovato and a long list of others.