US basketball legend and father of two died in a helicopter crash in California on January 26th. Bryant and his second daughter Gianna, aged just 14, along with 7 other passengers, departed from John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California on a helicopter destined for Bryant’s Mamba Academy for a practise session.
Just a minute and a half into the journey the helicopter had lost all altitude and crashed near the neighbourhood of Calabasas, 30 miles north-west of downtown Los Angeles. There were no survivors. Foggy weather had grounded many flights in the area on the morning of the accident and LAPD air support was not operational. Flight tracker data shows Kobe’s chopper appeared to encounter weather disruption above LA zoo and circled at least 6 times at a very low altitude. Investigations are underway by the Federal Aviation Administration, National Transportation Safety Board and the FBI into the cause of the crash.
There were no survivors.
Bryant played at the highest level of basketball in the NBA for the LA Lakers for 20 years. His achievements include being the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) and two-time NBA finals MVP. Many include Bryant in their greatest of all-time basketball players.
Tributes from celebrities, politicians and fellow sports stars have been voicing their shock and sadness at his sudden death. Moments of silence are expected to be help before sports game all across the country in weeks to come.
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