NBA and Basketball legend Kobe Bryant, 41 has died. He was flying to basketball practice at Mamba University with his 13 year old daughter Gianna, when the Helicopter they were on crashed in Calabasas California. There were 7 others aboard including Mamba assistant coach Christina Mauser, teammates of Gianna’s, their parents, and the pilot. No one survived.
It is thought that low heavy fog flustered the pilot who using special visual flight rules, was navigating purely by sight. The Helicopter, a Sikorsky 76-B (nicknamed the cadillac of helicopters) lifted off from the John Wayne airport Sunday morning, before flying erratically in circles around Glendale, then shooting east to Calabasas where it crashed on a hillside. In its last moment’s the helicopter ascended, presumably to escape the high terrain before losing altitude and crashing. an investigation is ongoing.
Kobe Bryant was a high school star in Pennsylvania. He led Lower Merion to it’s first state title in 40 years and surpassed Wilt Chamberlain and Lionel Simmons as south eastern Pennsylvania’s all time leading scorer with 2,883 points.
He was drafted directly into the NBA where he became the next big star after Michael Jordan, winning 5 championships with the Lakers, while amassing 28 all star appearances in 20 seasons of play. He broke numerous records and left an indelible mark on the league and the game of basketball.
Bryant was a philanthropist, running the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation and the China Fund, to help at risk youth and families in need with finances, as well as start community and after school programs. He also partnered with make a wish foundation,stand up to cancer, after school allstars and more.
Kobe also won an Oscar in 2018. The best animated short, Dear Basketball showcased his thoughts and his love of basketball on the eve of his retirement as he reminisced on his 20 year career.
Bryant was a huge fan of Harry Potter and created The Wizenard Series, his own story about a magical basketball school and the players who find themselves there.
Kobe will be missed. Rest in peace Mamba.