On the 26th of January 2020, one of the most horrific tragedies of the year occurred when nine people, including basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, were killed in an awful helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.
On the morning of the crash, the weather had been poor resulting in the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and other air traffic being grounded.
Kobe’s helicopter was travelling from Orange County to the basketballer’s sports academy in Thousand Oaks where his daughter’s game was being held.
The helicopter crashed at 9:45am whilst experiencing difficult with fog resulting in the helicopter crashing into a hill and then going up in flames.
Kobe was one of the biggest and most recognisable stars in America.
He was considered by many as one of the greatest of all time to step on to a basketball court.
Bryant, who was 41 at the time of the crash, had been retired since 2016.
The Philadelphia born athlete had won everything the game had to offer.
The Lakers’ legend was a 5x NBA champ, 2x Olympic gold medallist, 2x NBA finals MVP (most valuable player), 18x NBA All Star and in four of those games he was the All Star game MVP.
These were only a handful of the basketball legends honours.
After retiring from the sport he loved, he went on and became an Oscar winner for best animated short film.
Bryant was a dedicated family man.
Him and his partner of over 20 years, Vanessa Bryant, had four daughters together.
After the accident, Bryant’s wife said:
“He was my everything – Kobe and I have been together since I was 17-and-a-half-years old. I was his first girlfriend, his first love, his wife, his best friend, his confidant, and his protector”.
Vanessa followed on to talk about her 13-year-old daughter, Gianna who also lost her life in the crash.
“Her smile was like sunshine. Her smile took up her entire face, like mine. Kobe always said she was me. She had my fire, my personality and sarcasm, she was tender and loving on the inside.”
365 days on from this dreadful incident, it is important to remember the other seven people who lost their lives.
They were, John Altobelli, his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa; Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester and daughter Payton Chester and pilot Ara Zobayan.
For many years to come, Kobe’s legacy will be celebrated by hundreds around the globe. Mamba forever.