TMZ was the first to report that Bryant was among those on the helicopter when it went down in the hills of Calabasas and a fire broke out. The crash occurred before 10 a.m. PT, and the fire made it difficult for firefighters and emergency personnel to get to the aircraft, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Authorities later told reporters the manifest indicates nine people were aboard at the time of the crash. According to ESPN, Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa died in the crash. Christina Mauser, an assistant girls basketball coach at Harbor Day School in Corona Del Mar, California, has also been identified as one of the passengers who died, per Jon Passantino of CNN.com.
Gianna is one of Bryant’s four daughters with his wife, Vanessa. Their youngest daughter, Capri, was born in July.
Kobe Bryant was an 18-time All-Star and 11-time All-NBA first-teamer, who led the Lakers to five NBA championships and scored 33,643 points in his 20-year NBA career. He retired after the 2015-16 season, having spent his entire career with the Lakers. The franchise retired his No. 8 and No. 24 jersey numbers in December 2017.
He was 17 years old when he was selected with the 13th pick in the 1996 NBA draft by the Charlotte Hornets before being traded to the Lakers. He went on to become the Lakers’ franchise leader in points, games played, three-pointers, steals and free throws.
He finished his career with 33,643 points scored, which ranked third in NBA history from the time he retired until LeBron James passed him on the scoring list Saturday night.
Bryant was supportive of James passing him in the record books, tweeting out a positive message Saturday after the record-breaking points.