On Sunday, shocking news emerged that a helicopter carrying basketball legend Kobe Bryant had crashed into a hill in southern California. In the hours following the crash, it was confirmed that among the 9 passengers who lost their lives was the athlete’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna “Gigi” Bryant.  The passengers were on the way to Bryant’s youth basketball academy. It was later revealed that the rest of the passengers onboard were Gianna’s teammate Alyssa Altobelli, her parents John and Keri Altobelli, basketball coach Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton Chester, and pilot Ara Zobayan.

Since news of the fatal accident spread, many celebrities and public figures have been posting tributes to Bryant’s career and legacy, as well as expressing condolences to the families of the passengers, including Bryant’s wife Vanessa and three other daughters.

The NBA issued a public statement in which Commissioner Adam Silver praised Bryant’s achievements, and, in particular, his dedication to his daughter, also an avid basketball player who was frequently seen attending games with him: “He was generous with the wisdom he acquired and saw it as his mission to share it with future generations of players, taking special delight in passing down his love of the game to Gianna.”

People are looking back on pictures of Kobe and Gianna “Gigi” Bryant

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Kobe explaining the game to Gigi in a video that went viral last month

 

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Gianna, Bryant’s second-oldest daughter, was set to play in a youth basketball tournament on the day of the crash, with her team coached by her famous father. He often posted videos from her practices on his Instagram. In 2018, he told Jimmy Kimmel that she was proud to be his heir, responding to a fan’s comment that he should have a son to carry on his legacy with “I got this. You don’t need no boy for that!” The basketball department of the University of Connecticut, for which the teenager had aspired to play one day, also posted a message of condolences to the Bryant family on Twitter.

People speak out about Bryant’s death

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