'The Mother of Defense': Husband of woman killed in Kobe Bryant crash said wife was talented coach, mom of three

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CALABASIS, Calif. (WJW) — Christina Mauser was married with three children, taught at a small private school and was called “the mother of defense” by Kobe Bryant himself.

The 38-year-old was one of nine,  including Bryant, killed when the helicopter they were in crashed in Calabasis Sunday. Mauser’s husband, Matt, spoke about his wife Monday morning on the TODAY Show. 

“It’s horrible,” he said during the phone interview. “I got three small kids, and I am trying to figure out how to navigate life with three kids and no mom.”

According to TODAY, Christina Mauser was the assistant coach under Bryant for the Mamba Academy basketball team. Bryant chose her personally and his daughter,  Gigi, who was also killed in the helicopter crash, was on their team.  The group was flying to Thousand Oaks, California, Sunday for a basketball game at the time of the crash.

The Mausers had three young children.  Both also worked as teachers at a private school that Bryant’s daughters attended. Matt Mauser is the basketball coach there. Christina Mauser was the assistant coach when Bryant asked her to teach his team’s defense.

“They called her the mother of defense,” he said. “It was a family. They all really cared about each other.”

Matt Mauser said his wife was also incredibly smart and witty.

“Funny like nobody you’d ever met,” he said. “She was warm, she was incredibly bright. She was technologically incredible. She could figure out anything.”

Also killed in the crash were Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and daughter Alyssa. Sarah Chester and her daughter, Payton, were also passengers. Ara Zoboyan was identified as the pilot.

More here. 

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