By Matthew Wong
On January 26th, 2020, a helicopter carrying nine people crashed in Calabasas, California. Everyone on board was tragically killed, including NBA Legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi Bryant. The passengers were on their way to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, when investigators say the helicopter flew into harsh flying conditions. Thick clouds are most likely to blame for the crash, as the helicopter descended at a rate of 2,000 feet per minute until it hit into the Santa Monica Mountains. The tragic news of this event caused immense grief around the world, and condolences began pouring in for the families of Kobe Bryant and the others on board.
The former NBA player was a five-time NBA Champion, eighteen-time NBA All-Star, two-time NBA Finals MVP, and the 2007-2008 NBA MVP. In addition to his impressive NBA career, Bryant won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film “Dear Basketball.”
However, Kobe was more than just a hall of fame caliber basketball player and a successful filmmaker. He was the epitome of an amazing father. He cherished his four daughters, Natalie, Gigi, Bianka, and Capri, greatly and was a proud “girl dad.” He had an incredibly special relationship with his second oldest daughter, Gigi. Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant had the same Mamba Mentality and will to win that made Kobe Bryant such a dominant player. Kobe knew that Gigi would carry on his legacy even if she wasn’t a male. At just forty-one and thirteen years old, respectively, Kobe and Gigi had long lives ahead of them.
Memorials and tributes were performed across the world to remember the great Kobe Bryant and his daughter. Outside of the Staples Center, where the Los Angeles Lakers play, fans created a massive memorial filled with flowers, jerseys, and messages to their hero. Inside the arena, the Lakers held a special tribute for Kobe, Gigi, and the others who tragically passed away. Emotions ran high throughout the NBA, as teams took 8 and 24 second violations in honor of Kobe’s two numbers. Kobe Bryant’s influence was one that impacted people from around the globe. Murals were painted in Asia, Europe, and many other places in appreciation of Kobe’s timeless legacy.
Kobe Bryant was a beacon of light who inspired people to persevere through their hardships. Although he is gone, Kobe will always be remembered, and his legacy will live on forever.
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