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Kobe Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter is among those killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas today
News of the untimely death of former Los Angeles Laker and five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash barely broke when rumors began that some, or all, of his daughters were on board and also died. It’s now been confirmed that his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant, was with her father at the time of the crash and has also passed away.
ESPN reports that Bryant and his teen daughter were on their way to her travel basketball game when the helicopter crashed and killed all five people on board. People reports that two of the other passengers were a fellow parent and player.
NBC News reports that a call for a downed helicopter went out at 10:01AM Pacific time. Mountain bikers in the area saw the craft and reported the incident. Los Angeles County Fire Captain Tony Imbrenda told reporters there were no survivors.
Just last night, Bryant was on social media congratulating fellow NBA great LeBron James for surpassing his scoring record. It’s the last posts on both his Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Bryant’s pride in Gianna’s basketball talent was evident. He was a dedicated father who clearly delighted in seeing his kids succeed.
In a recent appearance on the Showtime Basketball podcast All the Smoke, Bryant shared his happiness at Gianna’s interest in the game. “Before Gigi got into basketball I hardly watched it, but now that’s she’s into basketball, we watch every night,” he told hosts and former NBA players Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson.
“We just had so much fun because it was the first time I was seeing the game through her eyes,” he said. “It wasn’t me sitting there, you know, as an athlete or a player or something like that, and you know it’s like about me, and I don’t like that,” he shared. “It was her, she was having such a good time.”
Bryant was the father of four daughters, including Gianna, and the husband of Vanessa Bryant. His three surviving daughters, Natalia, Bianka, and Capri are ages 17, three, and nine months respectively. Our hearts are positively broken and go out to his wife and family.