Kobe Bean Bryant died in a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020. The National Basketball Association star was 41.
Bryant and his daughter Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant, 13, were on their way to her basketball practice in the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, United States when the private helicopter they were traveling in crashed and burst into flames amid foggy conditions in the hills above Calabasas, Los Angeles, California. The two were with seven other people on board and nobody survived, TMZ Sports reported.
Gianna’s mother is Vanessa Laine Bryant, 37. Kobe and Vanessa got married at St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church in Dana Point, California on April 18, 2001.
Vanessa was not in the said helicopter, a Sikorsky S-76B built in 1991 and registered to the Island Express Holding Corp, which is based in Van Nuys, Los Angeles. Aside from Gianna, Kobe and Vanessa have three other daughters namely Natalia Bryant, 17, Bianca Bryant, 3, and Capri Kobe Bryant, who was born on June 20, 2019.
Publicly available flight records indicated that the helicopter departed the John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California at 9:06 a.m. on January 26, 2020. After passing over Boyle Heights near the Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, it circled over Glendale during the flight.
One of the eyewitness of the helicopter crash was Jerry Kocharian, 62. He heard a helicopter unusually low struggling overhead while he was drinking coffee outside the Church in the Canyon in Calabasas.
“It [didn’t] sound right and it was real low,” Kocharian told the Los Angeles Times. “I saw it falling and spluttering but it was hard to make out as It was so foggy. The helicopter vanished into a cloud of fog and then there was a boom.”
On January 25, 2020, Kobe was at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA where he witnessed how LeBron James, 35, passed him for third on the all-time scoring list of the National Basketball Association. The latter set the record in the third quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 108-91 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, scoring 33,655 points in his career.
In Kobe’s entire NBA career from 1996 to 2016, he only played for the Lakers. He scored 33,643 points.