February 19, 2020 | 1:32 PM IST
Kobe Bryant

Basketball veteran Kobe Bryant dies in chopper crash

Basketball legend and Lakers icon Kobe Bryant (also known as Black Mamba) died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. His 13-year-old Gianna Bryant was also accompanying him in the flight and died in the accident. Gianna was an aspiring basketball player and dreamt to play college basketball for the University of Connecticut (UConn). Seven other people too died in the accident.

Sources revealed that the 41-year-old often commuted from Newport Beach to Staples Center in Los Angeles in his Sikorsky S-76 helicopter. Bryant was travelling to Mamba Academy in Thousands Oaks, California for a basketball practice when the incident took place.
After the news of his death was confirmed, his fans tweeted their condolences. US President Donald Trump, former President Barack Obama and Indian cricketer Virat Kohli were among the first who expressed their condolences.

Bryant retired from the game in 2016 and was the youngest player to enter the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1996. He won five NBA championships and is NBA’s fourth all-time scorer with 33,643 points.
The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed that S-76 helicopter crashed this morning under ‘unknown circumstances’. Bryant is survived by two daughters – Natalie Diamante and Bianca Bella - and his wife Vanessa Laine Bryant.

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