NBA legend among nine dead in helicopter crash

By Travis Politakis

On Saturday, Jan. 26 at 1:32 p.m. news broke that basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna tragically died in a helicopter accident in Calabasas, CA. Bryant and his daughter were among nine victims in the helicopter including college baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and their daughter Alyssa. The group was on their way to a basketball tournament at Mamba Academy in Newbury Park, CA, which is a youth basketball academy founded by Bryant. 

Kobe Bryant was a Hall of Fame National Basketball Association Player who played for the Los Angeles Lakers for 20 years with his last season being in 2016. Bryant was one of the greatest players to come through the league, being a 15 time All-Star, 2008 league MVP, four time All-Star game MVP, and a five time NBA Champion. 

When the tragic news spread, the world froze to a standstill and all attention was centered on the tragedy. There was an outpouring of emotion from NBA fans, fellow teammates, and people all throughout the sports world. As the National Football League (NFL) Pro Bowl was about to begin in Orlando, Florida, a moment of silence was held before kickoff for Bryant. Despite the moment of silence, fans couldn’t help but start a “Kobe” chant, echoing throughout Camping World Stadium. 

A number of tributes have been commemorated in Kobe’s honor all across the country. Fans left flowers, jerseys, pictures, and all sorts of accessories outside of Lower Merion High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania which is where Bryant’s basketball career started and outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA which is where Bryant and the Lakers became the NBA’s gold standard. 

Bryant was also a legend off the court, being a father to four girls and a husband to his high school sweetheart Vanessa Bryant. Bryant inspired many across the world and will be missed by fans everywhere.

Travis Politakis can be reached at

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