CALABASAS, Calif. — Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, are dead after a helicopter crash in California at 10 a.m. Sunday morning, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
First reported by TMZ and later confirmed by ABC and ESPN, the legendary Los Angeles Lakers basketball star and one of his daughters were among the nine people killed in a crash that also sparked a small brush fire, making it difficult for first responders to get to the crash.
The Sikorsky S-76 helicopter crashed under unknown circumstances, a spokesperson from the National Transportation Safety Board told ABC News.
Bryant spent his entire 20-year career playing for the Los Angeles Lakers after being drafted by the team out of high school in 1996. With the Lakers, Bryant helped lead the team to five NBA Championships.
He was 41-years-old.
Bryant was at the Lakers game Saturday night when LeBron James passed him on the NBA All-Time scoring list. He tweeted last night, "Continuing to move the game forward [LeBron James]. Much respect my brother."
In addition to his five championships, Bryant was a two-time NBA Finals MVP, one-time league MVP and an 18-time All-Star.
Bryant was married in 2001 to Vanessa Bryant. Together they had four daughters, Natalia, Gianna, Bianka and Capri.
Los Angeles Times sportswriter Mike DiGiovanna also reported that Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli was also among the nine people killed in the crash. The Altobelli family also confirmed that John's wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa, were also among those killed.
Altobelli was the former coach of Southern Oregon-native and former Medford Rogue, Josh Berman while he attended OCC.
Also among the victims of the helicopter crash were Christina Mauser, Sarah and Payton Chester, and Ara Zobayan.
Mauser was an assistant basketball coach at the Harbor Day school and at Bryant's Mamba Sports Academy. She is survived by her husband, Matt, and their three children.
Payton Chester played on the same team as Gianna Bryant and was traveling with her mother, Sarah, to the game at the Mamba Sports Academy.
Zobayan was the pilot of the aircraft. According to the Federal Aviation Agency, he had been a licensed commercial pilot for more than a decade. Zobayan was also certified to fly under instrument flight rules, allowing him to fly in poor weather conditions.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information is gathered.
Last updated Monday, January 27th — 3:27 pm.
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