LOS ANGELES (KRON) — In a series of tweets Wednesday night, the Los Angeles Lakers said the organization is “devastated and forever changed” by the loss of Kobe Bryant and his teenage daughter, who were killed in a helicopter crash along with seven others over the weekend.
“We are devastated and have been forever changed by the sudden loss of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. We send our love to Vanessa, the Bryant family, and to the families of the other passengers,” the team said.
The Mamba Sports Foundation has set up an online fund for the families of those killed in the helicopter crash.
The team reiterated Wednesday the impact Bryant had on the Lakers, the fans and the City of Los Angeles.
“Words cannot express what Kobe means to the Los Angeles Lakers, our fans, and our city. More than a basketball player, he was a beloved father, husband, and teammate. Their love and light will remain in our hearts forever,” the team posted.
Bryant, along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, died in Sunday’s crash in a hillside in Calabasas.
Seven others were on the helicopter when it crashed.
They have since been identified as John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zoboyan.
John Altobelli was a baseball coach at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa.
He was on board the helicopter with his wife, Keri and daughter, Alyssa.
Alyssa Altobelli was on a youth basketball team with Gianna Bryant.
Sarah Chester was on board with her daughter, Payton.
Mauser was a girls basketball coach.
The Lakers’ statement comes just hours after the wife of the basketball star shared her first public statement since the horrific crash.
In an Instagram post, Vanessa Bryant thanked the public for the support and expressed the devastation her family is feeling by the “sudden loss.”
“I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon.
I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. “