Kobe Bryant, Daughter Killed in Helicopter Crash

The Sports world is stunned after hearing the news that NBA star Kobe Bryant, his 13-year old daughter Gianna and 7 others lost their lives in a helicopter crash Sunday afternoon. News sources report that Bryant, Gianna and the others were on their way to a travel basketball game when the helicopter crashed. The crash occurred several miles from Mamba Sports Academy, Bryant’s basketball training complex in Thousand Oaks, California. Bryant, who had four daughters with his wife, Vanessa, dedicated himself to boosting women’s sports in his retirement.

 

“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…We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Vanessa, and their family, the Lakers organization and the entire sports world.”-NBA Commissioner David Silver said in a statement.

 

In 1996, Bryant was drafted out of Lower Merrion High School (Philadelphia Pa) by the Charlotte Hornets, then traded to the LA Lakers. He finished his career fourth on the NBA’s all- time scoring list with 33,643 points after current Laker LeBron James passed him late Saturday. Bryant was at the game and embraced James when he accomplished that feat. He also had 81 points in a 2005 game and scored 60 points in his final game in 2016.

 

Bryant began to serve as a mentor to not just his Laker teammates, but also other players around the league, particularly the younger generation of players and continued his mentoring after he retired. The Lakers retired Bryant’s #8 and #24 becoming the first team to retire 2 numbers for a player.

 

The NBA and the Sports world at large reacted to the news via social media:

“As I try to write this post, my mind is racing. I’m in disbelief and have been crying all morning over this devastating news that Kobe and his young daughter, Gigi have passed away in a helicopter crash. Cookie and I are heartbroken.”-Said Lakers legend Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson on Twitter

“There’s no words to express the pain I’m going through now with this tragic and sad moment of losing my friend, my brother, my partner in winning championships, my dude and my homie. I love you brother and you will be missed. My condolences go out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW!”-Said Shaquille O’Neal via Twitter.

“We miss you already Kobe”-Said Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady Via Twitter.

The NFL Pro Bowl took a moment of silence and the NBA game between the Houston Rockets and Boston Celtics took 24-second violations to start their game in honor of Bryant.

“I am in shock over the tragic news of Kobe’s and Gianna’s passing. Words can’t describe the pain I’m feeling. I loved Kobe – he was like a little brother to me. We used to talk often, and I will miss those conversations very much. He was a fierce competitor, one the greats of the game and a creative force…”-Said Michael Jordan in a statement.

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on twitter

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