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26 Jan, 2020 19:37

NBA legend Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash aged 41

NBA legend Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash aged 41

Kobe Bryant, a universally-loved NBA star who played for the LA Lakers, has been killed in a private helicopter crash in California. Police say nine people died in the accident that has sent shockwaves across the US.

Traveling in his private helicopter, Bryant and eight others crashed over Calabasas on Sunday morning. Emergency personnel arrived at the scene in less than 10 minutes, but there were no survivors.

A fire is said to have broken out and the helicopter spiraled until it crash landed over Calabasas, killing everyone onboard.

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Sources close to the Bryant familyhave told multiple outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, that Kobe Bryant's daughter, 13-year-old Gianna, was among those who died in the crash.

The identity of the other passengers has yet to be confirmed, but they are said to be an unidentified teammate of Gianna and a parent, as well as the pilot.

Gianna was also a basketball player who attended multiple NBA games with her father who could be seen coaching her. Bryant has three other daughters with his wife Vanessa, including Capri who was born in June of 2019, but none of them have been reported to be among the crash's victims. 

Also on rt.com Kobe Bryant's 13yo daughter Gianna among 9 victims of California helicopter crash

Though retired from basketball since 2016, Bryant was still a regular at NBA games and he even began dabbling into filmmaking. He won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2018 for the movie ‘Dear Basketball.’

Bryant was universally beloved by Los Angeles basketball fans as he played his entire 20 year career with the Lakers. During his time there, he won five championships and made 18 All-Star Games. He also won gold medals as part of the US national team at the Olympics in 2008 and 2012.

Everyone from filmmaking professionals to athletes in football and soccer have been taking to social media to mourn the loss of the legendary athlete.

Also on rt.com 'Please God no, it can't be true': Sports world in shock after death of 'global icon' Kobe Bryant

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has responded to the shocking news by saying Bryant would "live forever in the heart of Los Angeles" and be remembered "through the ages as one of our greatest heroes."

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