MEMPHIS, Tenn. — NBA legend Kobe Bryant is one of nine people who were killed in a helicopter crash outside of Los Angeles on Sunday morning.
The aircraft went down near Calabasas and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna was also killed.
According to WREG’s sister station in Los Angeles, it happened around 10 a.m.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department originally reported on twitter five people were killed, but later said the flight manifest proved there was nine people on board.
ESPN Senior NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted Bryant and his daughter were heading to to a travel basketball game with one of Gianna’s teammates and that teammate’s parent when the crash happened.
Sources: Kobe Bryant was on his way to a travel basketball game with his daughter Gianna when the helicopter crashed. Those aboard the helicopter also included another player and parent.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 26, 2020
Tony Altobelli told CNN his brother, Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, 56; John’s daughter Alyssa and wife Keri were killed in the crash. Altobelli was a former assistant baseball coach at the University of Houston, the school said.
Alyssa and and Gianna were teammates, Tony Altobelli said.
The news of Bryant’s death shook the country. His last tweet, to Lebron James, is going viral. He congratulated James after James passed his record on scoring during a single game.
Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother 💪🏾 #33644
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 26, 2020
The National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver issued a statement saying “The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued the following statement today regarding the passing of Kobe Bryant pic.twitter.com/P88GwIwmYV
— NBA (@NBA) January 26, 2020
Memphis Tigers’ head coach Penny Hardaway and the Memphis Grizzlies shared their thoughts on twitter.
— Penny Hardaway (@Iam1Cent) January 26, 2020
Kobe, you changed the game and graced us with your gifts, both on and off the court. You will be missed.
— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) January 26, 2020
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash.
Bryant is a former professional basketball legend and spent his entire 20-year career playing with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was drafted to the NBA out of high school. Before he retired in 2016, he earned two Olympic gold medals for men’s basketball, won five NBA championships and is third on the NBA all-time scoring list.
This is a developing story. Stay with WREG for updates.