The husband of Christina Mauser — who was killed alongside NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, 13, in a tragic helicopter crash on Sunday — is sharing his grief.
“It’s horrible,” he said. “It’s horrible. I’ve got three small kids, and I’m trying to figure out how to navigate life with three kids and no mom.”
Girls basketball coach Christina, of Harbor Day School in Orange County, was one of the nine aboard the private helicopter that went down in Calabasas, California, the mayor of Costa Mesa, Katrina Foley, confirmed.
“I just learned that our amazing Matt Mauser of TiajuanaDogs lost his wife Christina in the crash,” she wrote on Twitter. “She coached the girls’ team. This devastating tragedy gets worse by the hour. So much pain for so many local families. Our hearts are broken & grieving for the families impacted.”
Emergency personnel responded but none of the nine people on board survived, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said during a press conference.
John Altobelli, the head baseball coach at Orange Coast College, was also on board the aircraft — alongside wife Keri Altobelli and their daughter, Alyssa Altobelli, the school confirmed in a statement on their website.
Sources told ESPN that the helicopter was headed to a travel youth basketball game.
“It’s horrible. I’ve got three small kids, and I’m trying to figure out how to navigate life with three kids and no mom.” -Matt Mauser, husband of Christina Mauser, who is one of the victims in LA-area helicopter crash pic.twitter.com/TxESfk5VvU— TODAY (@TODAYshow) January 27, 2020
During Monday’s interview, Matt shared, “I’m scared, I think, more than anything, I’m a little scared about the future.”
“Christina — well, [Bryant] didn’t choose Christina for just any ordinary reason,” said Matt. “She was extraordinary. She was witty, incredibly witty. Funny — funny like nobody you’ve ever met … She was warm. She was incredibly bright. She was technologically incredibly savvy, she could figure out anything.”
He continued, “My wife could break you down in two seconds, she knew how to figure you out. … She was incredibly deep.”
Matt shared that he met Bryant while working as a Spanish teacher at a private school the athlete’s daughters attended. He said that the former Los Angeles Laker had asked to volunteer as a parent on a field trip, and ultimately ended up connecting with Christina, who Matt said, “had an amazing mind for basketball.”
Christina helped coach Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy team, Matt said, noting, “They called her the mother of defense.”
Matt said those aboard the ill-fated helicopter on Sunday “all really cared about each other.”
“They loved their kids and they were so proud that they were growing, and becoming, you know better basketball players,” he recounted, adding of Bryant, “He was dedicated and so was my wife.”
The grieving husband noted that while he avoided watching television with his three children on Sunday, they did briefly turn on ESPN’s SportsCenter, which prompted a heart wrenching confession from his daughter.
“Everything was about how much everybody was mourning and hurting, and she said it was nice to know everybody was hurting along with us. And I know that sounds odd, but it did kind of help,” Matt shared through tears.