Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, Sunday morning, Yahoo Sports confirmed. His daughter, Gianna, was also on board as was another player and parent en route to a travel basketball game, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported.
Orange Coast college baseball coach John Altobelli also died in the crash, the Orange County Register reported. There were nine people on board, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department announced at a 5 p.m. ET news conference.
Bryant dies in helicopter crash
Bryant played his entire 20-year career for the Los Angeles Lakers and won five NBA championships prior to retiring in 2016. He was named Finals MVP twice and league MVP in 2008. Bryant was 41.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department responded to reports of a helicopter that crashed into a hillside and caught fire, NBC Los Angeles reported. The crash was called in at 9:47 a.m. local time, per the report, and flames that spread a quarter acre were put out by 10:30. The fire department reported no survivors.
CNN’s transportation expert said the flight data shows the helicopter tightly circling downtown Los Angeles before heading out to Calabasas. It departed John Wayne International Airport and followed U.S. Route 101 before turning left toward the Calabasas hills, per a compiled Aviation Safety Network report.
Flighttrader shared the path on Twitter and Eric Leonard of NBC Los Angeles has the radar track.
We are following media reports the Kobe Bryant was among those killed in a crash of an S-76 helicopter near Calabasas, CA this morning. Initial data indicate N72EX is the aircraft involved. Data for N72EX is available at https://www.flightradar24.com/data/aircraft/n72ex#23a8271e …
Bryant and his wife, Vanessa, have four daughters: Gianna, Natalia, Bianca and Capri, who was born in June 2019.
TMZ first reported the news.
Kobe’s daughter, Gianna, reportedly on board
Gianna Bryant, Kobe’s 13-year-old daughter, was one of the four passengers killed in the crash, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported.
Gianna is also a basketball player and coached by her dad. He credited her with getting him back into watching the game and they’ve been seen courtside and NBA and WNBA games over the past few months. He proudly spoke about his daughter and what she would bring to her own legacy on the Jimmy Kimmel show in October 2018.
College baseball coach dies in crash
OCC assistant coach Ron La Ruffa confirmed that Altobelli was on board and died in the crash, per the OC Register.
— Steve Fryer (@SteveFryer) January 26, 2020
Altobelli was to begin his 24th season as the college’s baseball coach. He was named the 2019 American Baseball Coaches Association’s national coach of the year following the team’s state championship.