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NBA Icon Kobe Bryant Dies in Helicopter Crash

Kobe Bryant died Sunday morning in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. He was 41. The former Los Angeles Lakers legend and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were among those killed in the crash, according to multiple reports.


An investigation is ongoing, per the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which confirmed there were no survivors among the nine people aboard the aircraft but would not release the names of those who perished in the crash. However, Orange Coast College baseball coaching legend John Altobelli, as well as his wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa, were among the victims of the crash, according to a statement from the school. Altobelli coached at Orange Coast College for 27 years, and he led the school to four state titles. 


The crash happened just before 10 a.m. PT with nine confirmed deaths and no survivors. 


Bryant, an NBA superstar and Orange County resident, famously took a helicopter to games and practices while playing for the Lakers as a means of avoiding traffic and the confined space of a car. He continued doing so in his retirement for business and personal reasons. Bryant and his daughter were reportedly on their way to participate in travel basketball when the helicopter went down. 


The fourth-leading scorer in NBA history with 33,643 career points, Bryant was a five-time NBA champion with the Lakers and 18-time NBA All-Star who was named the league's Most Valuable Player in 2008. He was twice an NBA Finals MVP and an 11-time All-NBA First Team selection. The two-time NBA scoring champion was known just as much for his prowess on the other end of the court, picking up nine selections to the NBA All-Defensive First Team.


He was the youngest player in NBA history when he took the court in 1996 and spent his entire 20-year career in Los Angeles. 


Kobe and Gianna are survived by a large immediate family, including his wife Vanessa and daughters Natalia Diamante, Bianka Bella and Capri Kobe.

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