ATLANTA — The basketball community is shocked and saddened after hearing news of fatal crash involving NBA All-Star Kobe Bryant, and eight other passengers. He was 41.
TMZ and numerous other sources reported that Bryant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna was also among five other passengers involved in a fatal helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. Los Angeles County Sheriff confirmed that all nine passengers on the helicopter are deceased, and an investigation is ongoing.
Kobe trained Atlanta Hawks player Trae Young.
In December, Bryant and one of his daughters made headlines while watching Young play. Bryant's daughter was reportedly a fan of Young's skills on the court. Young told ClutchPoints that the former Los Angeles Laker gave him some sound advice after losing against the Nets.
"He was just telling me how it’s all part of the process, to be patient, and just understand that things are going to turn," Young said.
Young tweeted this tribute after the news broke.
Atlanta Hawks player Vince Carter also tweeted his condolences saying "RIP to a legend SMH".
NBA icon Dominique Wilkins shared his memories of Kobe Bryant with 11Alive prior to Sunday's game against the Wizards.
“I’m at a loss for words. One of the greatest players that the league has ever seen. But more importantly, he was a great guy,” Wilkins tells 11Alive’s Maria Martin.
Recording artists, Chloe x Halle, who are from Mableton,Georgia retweeted hearts and a video tribute to Bryant.
"Can't believe this," the band's account posted with brokenheart emojis.
An hour prior to announcing the fatal crash, California deputies tweeted images from the crash site located at 4200 Las Virgenes Road in Malibu.
TMZ reports that Bryant's wife Vanessa was not on the aircraft traveling with Kobe this morning.
Bryant, who was originally from Lower Merion, Pennsylvania, soared to basketball stardom as a number one NBA draft pick in 1996.
Bryant, the third-leading scorer in NBA history, is a five-time NBA champion and 17-time All-Star.
He played for the Los Angeles Lakers for 20-consecutive years, earning consecutive championships for the team.
In 2015, Bryant announced his retirement so when he came to Atlanta for one of his final regular games of that season, the Hawks treated him to the surprise of a lifetime.
Zoo Atlanta and the Hawks named their black mamba snake after him.
Bryant, who was nicknamed the "Black Mamba," was also honored with a donation under his name.
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