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Kobe and Gianna Bryant tragically die in helicopter crash Sunday morning

Basketball legend Kobe Bryant, along with Braynt’s 13 year old daughter Gianna, were among 9 dead in a helicopter accident in the Southern California residential neighborhood of Calabasas early Sunday morning. Orange Coast College head baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Kerri, and his daughter Alyssa were also among the passengers of the deadly accident, the school confirmed in a statement. According to the LA County Fire Chief Daryl Osby, there were no survivors as of 10 a.m. local time, and the cause of the crash remains unknown. Although the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter crashed under unknown circumstances, the LA Police Department told ABC News that they were not flying choppers Sunday morning due to visibility concerns regarding heavy fog in the region. Furthermore, witnesses mountain biking in the area reportedly saw the helicopter in distress, LA County Fire Capt. Tony Imbrenda stated, but it remains unclear whether the pilot alerted the aircraft’s distress over the radio. According to Chief Osby, debris from the chopper was scattered on steep terrain, and a quarter-acre brush fire resulted from the accident, which deemed difficult to extinguish due to its magnesium content. ~

Kobe Bryant, son of longtime professional basketball player Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, was one of the most influential athletes of the 1990s and 21st century. After being directly drafted into the NBA from Lower Merion High School in 1996, Bryant went on to play 20 prolific NBA seasons for the Los Angeles Lakers, which included five national championships, two finals MVPs, a single league MVP in 2008, eighteen all-star selections, and 4 all-star game MVPs. The 2020 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame nominee also won two Olympic gold medals, and the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for “Dear Basketball” in 2018. Bryant’s 81 point game against the Toronto Raptors in 2006 remains the second-highest point total ever in a single game in NBA history, and in 2014, Bryant’s prolific scoring moved him past Michael Jordan into third place on the all-time NBA scoring list, which got surpassed by LeBron James Saturday night less than 24 hours before the renowned athlete’s death Sunday morning. ~

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