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Kobe Bryant, daughter Gianna, among 9 killed in helicopter crash

<b>Kobe Bryant, daughter Gianna, among 9 killed in helicopter crash </b>Kobe Bryant, one of the greatest NBA players of all time, died Sunday when his helicopter crashed north of Los Angeles.
Kobe Bryant is dead. He was only 41. Kobe's daughter Gianna Maria, 13, -- aka GiGi -- was also on board the helicopter and died in the crash with her dad, representatives for Kobe told TMZ Sports. They were on their way to the Mamba Academy for a basketball practice when the crash occurred. The Academy is in nearby Thousand Oaks. At 9:06 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on January 26, 2020, Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others took off from John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, in a Sikorsky S-76 helicopter owned by Bryant. The helicopter was registered to the Fillmore-based Island Express Holding Corp., according to the California Secretary of State business database. None of the nine passengers on board the helicopter survived. The helicopter carrying him, his daughter and seven others got special approval to fly by the Burbank Airport air traffic control center even though the foggy weather conditions were below usual standards. A witness said the fog on the morning of the crash was "as thick as swimming in a pool of milk." Kobe Bean Bryant was an American professional basketball player. A shooting guard, Bryant played his entire 20-year career in the National Basketball Association (NBA) with the Los Angeles Lakers. He entered the NBA directly from high school and won five NBA championships. Bryant was an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, 12-time member of the All-Defensive team, and the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player. Widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, he led the NBA in scoring during two seasons, ranks fourth on the league's all-time regular season scoring, and ranks fourth on the all-time postseason scoring list. Bryant was the first guard in NBA history to play at least 20 seasons. Kobe married Vanessa Paine in 2001. The wedding was not attended by Bryant's parents, his two sisters, his longtime advisor and agent Arn Tellem, or his Laker teammates. Bryant's parents were opposed to the marriage for a number of reasons. Reportedly Bryant's parents had problems with him marrying so young, especially to a woman who was not African-American. Kobe Bryant was a tireless competitor who became a global sports icon. Mr. Bryant's wife, Vanessa, and three other daughters were not aboard the aircraft. Alicia Keys and Boyz II Men sang an a cappella rendition of "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" in honor of Kobe Bryant. "Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day.", President Obama eulogized Kobe in a tweet.


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