THE AFRICA BAZAAR MAGAZINE Staff Writer
January 26, 2020
Former Los Angeles Lakers star and one of National Basketball Association’s greatest players, Kobe Bryant, died Sunday’s morning in a helicopter crash in California. He was 41 year old.
Mr. Bryant, was commuting from his home in Orange Country with eight other people on the helicopter flight, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, when their helicopter caught fire during the flight and crashed into Calabasas hills, near Los Angeles in California. All passengers on board were reported dead when paramedic arrived on the scene, according to Chief of Los Angeles country Fire Department Darly Osby. The department received an alert of a possible helicopter crash and brush fire. Paramedic were sent over to the place.
The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investing the crash, which took place on a foggy morning.
California’s highway is notorious for its traffic so it’s not unusual that Bryant, like many other celebrities living around L.A. and other cities in the state chose to commute by a helicopter instead of driving so as to avoid getting stuck in traffic. During his NBA career with the Lakers, he traveled by a private helicopter from his home to the team’s game at the Staples center in downtown L.A. for Lakers’ home basketball games.
Bryant, who started his basketball career in 1996 with the Charlotte Hornets league straight from high school after deciding to forgo college for a basketball career in the NBA- was a pertinacious competitor and an 18-time All Star game player. After he was traded to L.A. Lakers, he shrewdly became one of the best players of the team and along with his teammates won five NBA championships during his 17-year career with the Lakers. He retired from the team and NBA during the NBA 2015-2016 season.
During his athletic career with the NBA, Kobe—as he was referred to, inspired many people around the world, including young children, adults and people of his age and became an athletic icon for his generation. He was regarded as being among NBA’s top legends, which includes Michael Jordan, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, and Lebron James, that helped upswing the basketball games and basketball season from a standard American pastime to a sensational family pastime that has proliferate globally.
Born in Philadelphia in 1978 to a professional basketball player, Kobe Bryant relocated with his parents to Italy when he was young where his father played professional basketball. He moved back to the U.S. and attended Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, PA where he horned his basketball game craft, becoming a high school talent.
Upon news of his death, mourners around the world paid their tributes on social media and in person at major basketball venues where Kobe played, including at New York’s Madison Squares Garden where the basketball arena were light with the Lakers’ purple and gold color during Sunday’s night game. At the Staples Center in L.A.-where the Lakers’ usually plays their home games, celebrity musicians and other celebrities attending the 62-Grammys Awards on Sunday, also paid their respects to Kobe Byrant, sending their condolences to his family.
Both current and former U.S. Presidents, Donald J. Trump and Barack Obama, respectively on their social media, expressed condolences to the Bryant’s family.