The sporting world was rocked yesterday evening (Sunday) as the news that US Basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were among nine people who lost their lives in a helicopter crash in Calabasas California.
Bryant 41 and Gianna 13 were travelling privately when the helicopter burst into flames and crashed with no survivors.
With an outstanding 20 year career with the LA Lakers behind him after retiring in 2016, Bryant’s achievements included being the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) and two-time NBA Finals MVP. He was also NBA scoring champion twice and a two-time Olympic champion alongside being a five time NBA Champion all on route to becoming a living legend and considered as one of the ‘greatest’ players in the games history.
As expected, tributes have poured in for the player and his family as celebrities and sport stars around the world expressed their shock and sadness of the sudden loss and tragedy.
As expected, moments of silence have been observed at basketball and other sporting events around the US and even being remembered at the Grammy Awards, which were being held at the home of the Los Angeles Lakers last night.
“We're all feeling crazy sadness right now,” said Grammys host Alicia Keys.
“Because earlier today Los Angeles, America and the whole wide world lost a hero. We're literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built.”
While basketballs national governing body the NBA were also quick to express their sadness in a statement which said;
“devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna”.
“For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning,” it said.
At this moment in time the exact cause of the crash reminds unknown only that the helicopters manifest listed nine people on board and not five as was originally stated when the news broke.
The official statement from the City of Calabasas Sheriff’s department said they had heard the news with great sadness before adding;
“The aircraft went down in a remote field off Las Virgenes around 10:00 this morning. Nobody on the ground was hurt.”
While a witness Gavin Masak who lives close to the crash site told CBS News;
“It wasn't exactly like an explosion sound but it was like a loud boom. It sounded like a helicopter, but it sounded like a jet, like it was loud, so I went inside and told my dad what was happening. So when I came out I saw smoke on the hill but it wasn't like a big, black cloud of smoke, it was just grey.”