Basketball icon Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash on Sunday in Calabasas, California. He was 41.
His eldest daughter Gianna ‘Gigi’ Bryant also died in the crash, TMZ and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported.
Several news outlets reported Bryant was in his private helicopter with several other people when it crashed.
Pepperdine Graphic, Pepperdine University’s student-run newspaper, published a tweet that showed an image of what appeared to be the helicopter and smoke in the distance.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department said five people died in the crash, which happened about 10 a.m.
“It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Kobe Bryant and four others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas,” Calabasas Mayor Alicia Weintraub said in a press conference.
Weintraub said that the helicopter crashed in a field and no one on the ground was hurt. Authorities said the helicopter was a Sikorsky S-76B model.
An NBA legend
Bryant spent his 20-season career entirely with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was the third all-time scorer in the NBA and won five NBA championships.
He was born on August 23, 1978, in Philadelphia but for most of his childhood living in Italy, where his father played basketball. In 1996 Bryant joined the NBA after graduating from high school.
Bryant was often referred to by his self-given nickname “Black Mamba,” a type of snake, which signified his prowess and competitive attitude. Bryant was the second-highest-paid NBA player of all time, having earned an estimated $323 million from his NBA career salary alone.
Bryant retired from the NBA in 2016.
Bryant was married to Vanessa Bryant with whom he had four children: Bianka, Gianna, Natalia, and Capri, their youngest child, who was born in June.