UPDATE via TMZ: (2:40 PM PT) — Officials say they believe 9 people were on board — 1 pilot and 8 passengers — and there were no survivors. Other confirmed deaths include girls basketball coach Christina Mauser, who’s married to Tijuana Dogs singer Matt Mauser; and John Altobelli, a baseball coach at Orange Coast College.
UPDATE via TMZ: (12:35 PM PT) — Kobe’s daughter Gianna Maria (also known as GiGi) was also on board the helicopter and died in the crash. She was 13. Kobe and his daughter were reportedly on their way to the Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks, Calif. for a basketball practice.
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Kobe's daughter Gianna Maria Onore – aka GiGi – was also on board the helicopter and died in the crash. She was 13. We're told they were on their way to the Mamba Academy for a basketball practice when the crash occurred. The Academy is in nearby Thousand Oaks. Story developing at link in bio. #tmz #kobebryant #rip
Terrible news rocks the sports world this morning, as news has come in that NBA legend Kobe Bryant has died, following a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. Sunday morning (Jan. 26).
Kobe was 41 years old.
According to TMZ, Kobe was traveling in his private helicopter when a fire broke out and it went down. Five people are confirmed dead.
The cause of the crash is under investigation at press time.
Kobe’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, was not among those on board.
The NBA icon has traveled in his private helicopter throughout his NBA career, commuting from Newport Beach, CA to the STAPLES Center in Downtown Los Angeles for Lakers home games to avoid traffic.
He is widely considered one of the greatest NBA players of all time. During his illustrious NBA career, he made the All-Star Team 18 times, 2 NBA Finals MVPs and league MVP in 2008. The Lakers have retired both of Kobe’s jersey numbers — 8 and 24 — the only player in team history to receive that honor.
Kobe is survived by his wife Vanessa, and their four daughters — Gianna, Natalia and Bianca and their newborn Capri.