Basketball has lost one of its most legendary players of all time. On the 26th January, NBA basketball star Kobe Bryant was one of the victims of a horrific helicopter crash in California.
The NBA legend was one of the greatest sports stars of all time; a true legend of not only basketball but sport in general. A man of talent, integrity, genius, and kindness; he will be truly missed by all.
Bryant, 41, was one of the victims of the crash alongside daughter Gianna, 13. They were traveling via helicopter with a group of other passengers when the helicopter experienced some issues.
It soon came down and crashed, with five dead confirmed shortly after the crash came down. Authorities have since said that there were no survivors when the helicopter crashed.
Deputises from Malibu and the LA County Fire personnel were on hand to try and put an end to the incident afterward. Nine people died in total; the pilot as well as eight passengers.
It was soon confirmed after the crash by the Los Angeles Times that Bryant and his daughter were onboard. The crash happened at around 9:45 AM local time and took place near Calabasas, California. The helicopter was a Sikorsky S-76.
Bryant was one of the best players of all-time in any sport, not just in basketball. He played a 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, becoming one of their all-time greats.
The Philadelphia native was a true legend of the sport, joining the NBA straight from leaving high school. In his career, he won a whopping five NBA Championships as well as two Olympic Gold Medals in 2008 and in 2012.
He retired in 2016, and since then had contributed to various sporting and philanthropic causes.
Speaking about his death was the NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, who said: "For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning.
He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary: five NBA championships, an NBA MVP award, 18 NBA All-Star selections, and two Olympic gold medals.
But he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability.
He was generous with the wisdom he acquired and saw it as his mission to share it with future generations of players, taking special delight in passing down his love of the game to Gianna.
We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Vanessa, and their family, the Lakers organization and the entire sports world."
Bryant is survived by wife Vanessa and three children. RIP Kobe; you changed the world, not just of basketball or of sport, but the world in general.