LOS ANGELES, California (WJW) — The helicopter carrying former Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven other people that crashed early Sunday was on its way to Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California for a basketball tournament. His daughter’s team was expected to play in the tournament. Everybody on board the helicopter died.
Bryant shared a love of basketball with his 13-year-old daughter.
During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! back in 2018, Bryant spoke about her passion for the game.
“Do you think your daughter might want to play in the WNBA?” Kimmel asked Bryant.
“She does for sure,” Bryant responded.
“The best thing that happens is when we go out and fans come up to me, and she’ll be standing next to me, and be like, ‘You gotta have a boy. You and V [his wife, Vanessa] gotta have a boy, man, and have somebody to carry on the tradition and the legacy’ and she’s like, ‘I got this’,” he said.
“‘You don’t need a boy for this, I got this’,” Bryant continued of his daughter.
According to ABC News, Gianna wanted to attend the University of Connecticut. She got a chance to meet the team when they visited Los Angeles back in 2017.
The team tweeted a picture of Kobe and Gianna.
“Kobe and Gianna meant a lot to our program. Our thoughts are with the Bryant family,” the post said. “Mamba Mentality will live on forever, but they are deeply missed.”
Kobe and Gianna meant a lot to our program. Our thoughts are with the Bryant family.
Mamba Mentality will live on forever, but they are deeply missed. 💙 pic.twitter.com/4Ib96yFxgg
— UConn Women's Hoops (@UConnWBB) January 26, 2020