NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his teenage daughter, Gianna, were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in Los Angeles, California on Sunday, authorities informed. Bryant was 41 years old.
The Federal Aviation Administration said a Sikorsky S-76 helicopter crashed around 10 a.m. near Calabasas. It is still not clear what is the reason behind the crash, whether it is a technical fault or pilot’s mistake. An investigation is underway.
Kobe Bean Bryant was born in Philadelphia on August 23, 1978. He was raised up in Italy where his father, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, played professional basketball after his own NBA career.
Bryant, who is considered one of the greatest basketball players in history, played all 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning three consecutive championships in 2000, 2001 and 2002. He went on to win two more in 2009 and 2010.
In addition to his five titles, Bryant is the fourth-leading scorer in NBA history. He was selected to the all-star 18 times and earned an MVP award in 2008. He was a 12-time member of the all-defensive team and made the all-NBA team 15 times. Bryant retired in 2016 and was among several high-profile nominees for the NBA’s 2020 Hall of Fame class.
In his retirement, Bryant coached his daughter Gianna’s middle school basketball team. “It’s a lot of fun. She’s really driven, very competitive. We have a group of kids that love the game,” he told CBS News last year. “They have an appetite to learn more. I enjoy being around them.”
He and his wife, Vanessa, have three other daughters: Natalia Diamante, 17; Bianka Bella, 3; and Cari Kobe, who was born in June 2018.