LOS ANGELES (KTSM) — Basketball superstar Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California Sunday morning. His 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Maria-Onore was also on board.
Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California has since confirmed their long-time head baseball coach, John Altobelli, along with his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa were also among those killed.
Gianna and Alyssa were teammates at the Mamba Academy and were flying from Orange County to Thousand Oaks to attend a game, OCC assistant coach Ron La Ruffa told CNN.
“It was something John routinely did, flying up with Kobe to attend games with his daughter,” La Ruffa said.
Initial reports that five people were on board were updated to nine by the LA County Sheriff’s Department Sunday afternoon. They declined to formally identify those on board, pending notification of next of kin.
Basketball star, Family man
Kobe Bryant, widely considered one of the greatest basketball players of all-time spent 20 years playing with the Los Angeles Lakers where he was a 5-time NBA Champion, 2-time Finals MVP, and starred in 18 All-Star games.
He was the NBA’s all-time leading scorer until the day before his death when LeBron James surpassed him. As a tribute to Kobe’s record, LeBron wrote “Mamba 4 Life” before playing in the game Saturday night.
Bryant is among the eligible candidates for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020 in Springfield in September.
Kobe was perhaps best known in recent years as a devoted family man. He leaves behind his wife and three daughters, Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7-months.
Fan and Celebrity Reaction
Fans, celebrities, teammates and competitors of Bryant’s released statements on Sunday, mourning the basketball superstar’s death.
In a statement released by Michael Jordan, he said in part, “I am in shock over the tragic news of Kobe’s and Gianna’s passing. Words can’t describe the pain I’m feeling. I loved Kobe — he was like a little brother to me. We used to talk often, and I will miss those conversations very much.”