CALABASAS (KRON/AP) — Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports.
The 41-year-old athlete was one of five people on board when the private helicopter went down and crashed into a hillside.
Around 2:45 p.m., LA County Sheriff confirmed there were nine people on board the helicopter and no survivors.
Longtime college baseball coach was among those killed in the Calabasas helicopter crash. John Altobelli, 56, was aboard the aircraft with his daughter Alyssa Altobelli and wife Keri Altobelli.
A little after 10 p.m., TMZ reported that the mayor of Costa Mesa, Katrina Foley, confirmed the identity of another victim in the deadly crash.
The victim is reportedly girls basketball coach Christina Mauser, who they say is married to Tijuana Dogs singer Matt Mauser.
Mauser posted to Facebook today:
“My kids and I are devastated. We lost our beautiful wife and mom today in a helicopter crash. Please respect our privacy. Thank you for all the well wishes they mean so much.”
The Los Angeles County Fire Department said there were no survivors.
Authorities have not publicly confirmed his death but are investigating at this time.
TMZ was the first to report Bryant’s death.
Fire crews arrived in the area of the 4200 block of Las Virgenes Road after the helicopter crashed.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said it was a Sikorsky S-76 and it was not known what caused the crash.
Bryant retired in 2016 as the third-leading scorer in NBA history, finishing two decades with the Lakers as a prolific scorer with a sublime all-around game and a relentless competitive ethic.
He held that spot in the league scoring ranks until Saturday night, when the Lakers’ LeBron James passed him for third place during a game in Philadelphia, Bryant’s hometown.
Bryant had one of the greatest careers in recent NBA history and became one of the game’s most popular players as the face of the 16-time NBA champion Lakers franchise. He was the league MVP in 2008 and a two-time NBA scoring champion, and he earned 12 selections to the NBA’s All-Defensive teams.
He teamed with Shaquille O’Neal in a combustible partnership to lead the Lakers to NBA titles in 2000, 2001 and 2002. He later teamed with Pau Gasol to win two more titles in 2009 and 2010.
Bryant retired in 2016 after scoring 60 points in his final NBA game.
Bryant looms large over the current generation of NBA players. After James passed Bryant on Saturday, he remembered listening to Bryant when the superstar came to speak at a childhood basketball camp.
“I remember one thing he said: If you want to be great at it, or want to be one of the greats, you’ve got to put the work in,” James said. “There’s no substitution for work.”
James later teamed up with Bryant on the 2008 U.S. Olympic team in Beijing.
“He had zero flaws offensively,” James said. “Zero. You backed off of him, he could shoot the 3. You body him up a little bit, he could go around you. He could shoot from mid-range. He could post. He could make free throws. … He was just immortal offensively because of his skill set and his work ethic.”
Bryant was a basketball superstar for his entire adult life. He entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996 after a childhood spent partly in Italy, where his father, former NBA player Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, played professionally.
The Lakers acquired the 17-year-old Bryant in a trade shortly after Charlotte drafted him, and he immediately became one of the most exciting and intriguing players in the sport alongside O’Neal, who had signed with the Lakers as a free agent. Bryant won the Slam Dunk Contest as an upstart rookie, and the Lakers gradually grew into a team that won three consecutive championships.
Bryant and Gasol formed the nucleus of another championship team in 2008, reaching three straight NBA Finals and eventually winning two more titles.
In 2003, Bryant was charged with attacking a 19-year-old employee at a Colorado resort. He had said the two had consensual sex. Prosecutors later dropped the felony sexual assault charge against Bryant at the request of the accuser.
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