Image: Stephen R. Sylvanie, USA Today Sports
Kobe Bryant, NBA legend, husband, and father of four died on January 26th in a helicopter crash. Bryant was one of nine people killed in the crash, which included his daughter, Gianna, baseball coach John Altobelli, Altobelli's wife Keri, their daughter Alyssa, basketball coach, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester and her daughter, Payton, as well as the pilot, Ara Zobayan. The group were flying to Mamba Academy, Bryant's athletic facility, when the helicopter, a twin-engine Sikorsky S-76B, crashed into a hillside in Calabasas.
As the news broke, tributes to Kobe Bryant poured in from all over the world, from celebrities, politicians, fans, journalists, and others. A photo was taken on Sunday of the Mamba Academy athletes kneeling on a basketball court as a tribute to Bryant after learning of the tragedy. Other people gathered outside of the Staples Center to leave notes and flowers. Many are remembering Kobe as the phenomenal basketball player that he was- Bryant accomplished a lot in the sports arena, having won 5 NBA titles while playing with the Lakers. Others are remembering Kobe's dedication to community- after retiring, Bryant continued to demonstrate his love for the game by helping children improve their basketball skills. (Bryant opened Mamba Academy in 2018 in order to support young athletes and their development.)
Current reports are that visibility was low on the day of the crash, although the helicopter pilot had been cleared to fly. Investigations and recovery are still ongoing.
Kobe Bryant was 41.