Updated: Jan 8
Legendary five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant has been reported dead following a helicopter crash on Sunday (Jan. 26) morning in Calabasas according to TMZ.
Bryant was on-board a helicopter along with four others when it crashed into a hillside. The reports of his passing has been confirmed by the Los Angeles Times. The reason for the crash is still unknown!
Bryant 41, is survived by his wife, Vanessa, and four daughters Natalia, Gianna, Bianka and Capri.
Rest In Peace Kobe Bryant!
Kobe's death has been confirmed by multiple news outlet.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said all five people on board the helicopter were killed, and the investigation is ongoing.
The crash took place around 10 a.m. in the hills of Calabasas, northeast of Los Angeles. When the helicopter crashed, it sparked a bush fire in the area. no one on the ground was hurt.
Bryant who retired from the NBA in 2016 as one of the top scoring players of all time shared his final tweet hours ago, a message of support for LeBron Jams who on Saturday, took his No. 3 spot.
It's been confirmed Kobe Bryant's 13-year old daughter, Gianna (GiGi) among those killed in crash.
According to TMZ, the pair was traveling to the Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, for a basketball practice when the crash occurred. They were among at least nine people confirmed dead in the accident, including another player and parent. Bryant's wife, Vanessa, is not thought to be among them.
Gianna's classmate Alyssa along with Alyssa's father college baseball coach John Altobelli and his wife Keri among those killed. The helicopter which was owned by Bryant had taken off from John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, in a Sikorsky S-76B. The helicopter was registered to the Fillmore-based Island Express Holding Corp., according to the California Secretary of State business database.
Around 200 people gathered at the foot of the hill close to the crash with several wearing Bryant's jersey and holding basketballs. People also formed an impromptu memorial at Staples Center where the Los Angeles Lakers play, just hours before the arena was scheduled to host the Grammy Awards. Fans created a memorial for Bryant outside of the Kobe Bryant Gymnasium at Lower Merion High School (Pennsylvania), which Bryant attended from 1992–1996. Jerseys, dedicated basketballs, flowers and candles were all laid down to memorialize the school's legendary graduate.