Former President Barack Obama is remembering Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant, who was killed Sunday morning in a helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.
"Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act," Obama said in a statement. "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."
During Obama's presidency, Bryant and the Lakers visited the White House to celebrate NBA championship wins, and gifted Obama his own jersey. Before he retired from basketball in 2016, Bryant visited Obama in Washington, D.C., to discuss how he could transition into a new chapter of his life. "In sports, you get better by working in the gym," Bryant said in 2017. "I wanted to know how he got better, from managing his schedule to what he reads. And because he gets sports, and we can talk about that, too, it makes it easier to have that connection."