Many across the country are mourning the death of Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant after the news of the helicopter crash on Sunday.
Bryant, 41, along with his daughter Gianna, 13, were among the nine people killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. They were on their way to the Mamba Sports Academy, where the late former NBA star was going to coach his daughter’s basketball team at a tournament, as IJR reported.
The mamba academy getting news of Kobe. This is soul crushing. Love your loved ones.pic.twitter.com/FBQ3ar7HU2— Randi Mayem Singer (@rmayemsinger) January 26, 2020
Many offered a tribute to Bryant, including former and current professional athletes.
Describing his “shock” to the news, NBA legend Michael Jordan wrote in a statement, “Words cannot describe the pain I’m feeling.” Jordan added that Bryant “was like a little brother to me.”
See Jordan’s full statement below:
Statement from Michael Jordan: pic.twitter.com/oI7w6e7HLI— Estee Portnoy (@esteep) January 26, 2020
Check out some of the reactions below:
Tiger Woods reacts to the news of Kobe Bryant’s death shortly after finishing his round on Sunday. pic.twitter.com/veQV7WYgE8— GOLFonCBS (@GOLFonCBS) January 26, 2020
Kobe was so much more than an athlete, he was a family man. That was what we had most in common. I would hug his children like they were my own and he would embrace my kids like they were his. His baby girl Gigi was born on the same day as my youngest daughter Me’Arah. pic.twitter.com/BHBPN5Wq8V— SHAQ (@SHAQ) January 26, 2020
Janet and I have no words to describe our shock and sadness on the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant today. Praying for him and his family. 🙏— Wayne Gretzky (@WayneGretzky) January 26, 2020
We can confirm that Kobe Bryant passed away today from the causes of a helicopter accident.— Los Angeles Lakers Fans (@LakersFans_US) January 26, 2020
The entire Los Angeles Lakers family wishes to support their family and friends.
RIP KOBE 🙏❤️ pic.twitter.com/FdqwpAFoGY
"Honestly knowing him.. The way I know him, He would of wanted me to play"— Marcus Greaves (@MarcusGreaves_) January 27, 2020
Melo and Kobe had countless battles throughout their career, it was a tough hearing the pain in his voice when asked about Kobe and why he played tonight.. #RipCity pic.twitter.com/skj9BQDtFH
Love basketball. Even bigger fan of excellence. @kobebryant embodied excellence. Legendary talent; inspirational athlete; great role model; American icon loved globally. Sports lost a tremendous friend but don’t have to be sports fan for your heart to hurt. Just have to be human!— Jack Nicklaus (@jacknicklaus) January 27, 2020
U.S. presidents also offered responses to the news of Bryant’s death.
Additionally, former President Barack Obama expressed how “heartbreaking” it was for him and his wife, Michelle, to hear of the loss of Bryant and his daughter.
“Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents,” Obama wrote, adding, “Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day.”
In addition to Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, @CBSNews has identified the other victims of the deadly helicopter crash in California:— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) January 27, 2020
Christina Mauserhttps://t.co/o42tVC5NRn pic.twitter.com/EKadKjcNPu
Orange Coast College basketball coach John Altobelli, along with his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa, were also among the nine people killed in the helicopter crash.