NBA and Laker legend Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash


By Northern Star Staff

DeKALB — Basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant were among nine people killed Sunday after their helicopter lost control in foggy conditions and crashed on a hillside in Calabasas, California.

It was later confirmed by Orange Coast College that the school’s baseball coach, John Altobelli, his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa were among the victims.

Christina Mauser, an assistant coach with one of the teams at Mamba Sports Academy, was also confirmed to be among the victims according to her husband said on Facebook.

Ara Zobayan, a flight teacher and Bryant’s private pilot, was listed among the victims according to the Los Angeles Times.

Sarah Chester and her daughter, Payton, were the final victims listed. Payton was a teammate of Gianna and Alyssa.

LA County Police initially reported five people were on board the helicopter with no survivors. TMZ and Variety first reported Bryant was on board.

They were on their way to a basketball practice at Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California with at least another player and parent. The identities of the other victims have not been released. 

Bryant was drafted out of high school with the 13th pick in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets. He was immediately traded to the Los Angeles Lakers.

He went on to win five NBA Championships, two Finals MVPs, 18 All-Star selections, 15 All-NBA teams, 12 All-Defense teams and the 2007-08 NBA MVP in 20 seasons with the Lakers.

Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa and three daughters, Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri 7 months.

This is a developing story. The Northern Star will update this story as more information becomes available.