Kobe Bryant and his daughter die in plane crash

Kelly Lu, Staff Writer

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     On January 26, 2020, Kobe Bryant, a legendary basketball star and eight other passengers including the pilot died in a helicopter crash. The helicopter hit a hillside in Southern California in the midst of a left turn and was at an altitude of 2,400 feet before beginning to fall. When the helicopter began to crash, it was at 184 mph and descending at 45 mph which is a rate of more than 4,000 feet per minute. All passengers are perished; Gianna, Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, was one of them. 

       Colin Storm was the first to report of the crash as he was in his home in Calabasas and said he heard the helicopter and a boom sound despite not being able to see through the fog. He reported seeing smoke rising from the hillside. Los Angeles police department spokesman Josh Rubensteinlater confirmed that none of its helicopters flew that morning due to poor weather conditions; the vehicle containing Bryant and his daughter was flying in a very dense fog.

         Kobe Bryant died at the age of 41 and was paid many respects by players and teams in the NBA that morning. There was an eight-game schedule that Sunday, and almost all teams that played planned to do a shot clock violation, meaning teams would take turns holding the ball for eight seconds or twenty-four seconds to honor Bryant’s No.24 and No.8 jersey. Fans in the audience heavily supported this. 

         The San Antonio Spurs coach Greg Popovich said, “All of us know what a great player he was, but he went beyond great playing. He was a competitor – that goes unmatched. It‘s what made him as a player so attractive to everybody – that focus, that competitiveness, that will to win. And even more importantly than that we all feel a deep sense of loss for what he meant to all of us in so many ways, and so many millions of people loved him for so many different reasons it’s just a tragic thing.” 

          It is a tragic occurrence when a loved celebrity dies, especially one with such an incredible work ethic and holds so much respect among basketball fans. Thoughts and prayers go out to Bryant’s family, friends, teammates, and coach. One can only hope that they can recover from his death and that his supporters are able to move on as well.