Kobe Bryant’s daughter Gianna also killed in helicopter crash

Bryant was reportedly traveling in his own private helicopter when it crashed. Four other people were killed, with no survivors.According to multiple reports, Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna (“Gigi”) was also killed in the crash. They were reportedly en route to her basketball game in Thousand Oaks.Investigators are trying to determine the cause of the fatal crash. There was extensive fog in the Los Angeles area on Sunday morning. The night before, LeBron James passed Bryant as the NBA’s third-highest scorer of all-time. Bryant tweeted his congratulations to James following the game in Philadelphia, which also happens to be Bryant’s hometown.

News of Bryant’s death rippled through social media, as fellow athletes, celebrities and politicians paid their respects to “The Black Mamba.”
“There’s no words to express the pain Im going through with this tragedy of loosing my niece Gigi & my brother,” Shaquille O’Neal, Bryant’s formers Lakers teammate wrote. “I’m sick right now.” Former President Barack Obama, who hosted Bryant and the Lakers at the White House following their 2010 championship, wrote: “Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day.”
Drafted in 1996 by the Charlotte Hornets out of Lower Merion High School in Philadelphia — a rarity in the NBA at the time for a player to skip college — Bryant was traded to the Lakers where he became a fan favorite overnight. He wore both numbers 8 and 24 for the Lakers, where he spent his entire 20-year career, and had both jerseys retired following his NBA exit in 2016.
Widely considered to be one of the greatest scorers ever, Bryant was voted the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2008 and was elected to the NBA’s All-Star team eighteen times. He went on to win two gold medals with the USA Men’s Basketball team – in Beijing at the 2008 Olympics and 2012 in London.
Alongside Shaquille O’Neal and coach Phil Jackson, Bryant helped revitalize Hollywood’s favorite sports team in the late 1990s and early 2000s when the Lakers moved from the Inglewood Forum to the Staples Center arena in downtown Los Angeles. Bryant’s highest scoring total for a single-game came in 2002 when he put up 81 points against the Toronto Raptors. Only Wilt Chamberlain, at 100 points, had a bigger single-game in NBA history. Despite all of the “Ko-Be!” chants, highlight reels and on-court accolades, Bryant was not immune to controversy. In 2003, he was accused of sexually assaulting an employee at a Colorado hotel. The case was dropped the next year and Bryant issued a public apology alongside his wife, Vanessa. “Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did,” he said at the time.

After retiring from the NBA in 2016, Bryant launched a production company, Granity, which focused on projects that blended both sports and entertainment. He won an Academy Award in 2018 for the short film, “Dear Basketball,” directed by Glen Keane, which was based on a poem he wrote before he said goodbye to the NBA.
Several documentaries covered his life and career, including Spike Lee’s 2009 “Kobe Doin’ Work” and “Kobe Bryant’s Muse,” a 2015 Showtime special.
Bryant is survived by his wife, Vanessa, and three daughters, Natalia, Bianca and Capri.

source by Variety.com

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