Friends, family, fans and fellow players are mourning the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant.
The former Los Angeles Laker died on Sunday, January 26, in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.
Bryant was traveling with eight other people on his private helicopter that crashed into a hillside in the Calabasas area around 10 a.m., killing everyone on board. Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, was among the victims.
Bryant and Gianna, affectionately known as GiGi, were on their way to the Mamba Academy for a basketball practice near Thousand Oaks, California, when the crash occurred.
It is believed that Bryant’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, was not on board the aircraft at the time of the crash, TMZ reported.
The Philadelphia native entered the NBA draft straight from high school and played his entire 20-year career for the Lakers. Kobe solidified his status as a NBA great when he became the youngest player in history to reach 30,000 career points at the age of 34.
During the course of his career, Kobe won five NBA championships and was an 18-time All-Star. He retired from basketball at the age of 37 after playing the 2015-16 season.
Following his retirement, Kobe won the 2018 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for Dear Basketball, which he wrote and narrated. He is survived by Vanessa, who he married in 2001, and their three daughters, Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.
The Bryant family has received an outpouring of support and condolences from many of celebrity friends and fans, including Dwyane Wade, Chrissy Teigen, Vanessa Hudgens and more.
The former Miami Heat player, 38, expressed his anguish in a post on Twitter on Sunday. “Nooooooooooo God please No,” Wade wrote.
Demi Lovato, a longtime supporter of Kobe’s, shared her condolences in a post on Instagram. “This makes me so sad. Kobe you were always so sweet to me,” the singer wrote on Sunday alongside a photo of herself, Kobe and one of his daughters. “Known you over 10 years.. not super well but we always joked about you coming over and playing that game of horse! You will he so missed by so many. You’re a legend with wings now. RIP Kobe 💔💔💔.”
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