Lakers basketball champion Kobe Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna ‘Gigi’ Bryant died in a helicopter crash this morning in the Los Angeles suburb of Calabasas.
Authorities report that there were no survivors and that there were up to nine total passengers aboard the aircraft. More information about the identity of each victim will be released, pending notification of next-of-kin.The City of Calabasas confirmed that the helicopter went down in a remote field off Las Virgenes at about 10:00 a,m, this morning. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating.
Gigi on the Mamba Legacy: “I got this.”
During a 2018 interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Bryant beamed about how Gianna was growing up and took great pleasure in watching her shut down those who said he needed to have a son to carry on the Bryant “Black Mamba” championship basketball legacy:
“The best thing is when we go out and fans come up to me—and she’ll be standing next to me—and they’ll be like: ‘You and V got to have a boy! Someone to carry on the tradition,’” Bryant shared.
Gianna, he said, would stop them right there and say: “I got this. Don’t need no boy for that. I got this.”
“I’m like, that’s right!” said Bryant, who coached and rooted the the young lady “Mamba” on to an impressive level of play. “Yes, you do! You got this.”
NBA champion took his winning “Mamba Mentality” full steam into the tech, arts and media sectors, following his retirement from the storied Los Angeles Lakers franchise, founding Gravity Studios.
Memorials are springing up across the region, from the site of the crash in Calabasas to the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles and beyond, as fans await word of official services. More information to come as confirmed.