All nine victims have been identified in the helicopter crash that killed retired NBA player Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant. The helicopter crashed into a hillside in dense fog in Calabasas, California, just before 10 a.m. PT on Sunday. Bryant's sudden death at age 41 has ignited an outpouring of grief from fans.
The pilot and eight passengers were reportedly on their way to Bryant's Mamba Sports Academy for a basketball practice when the helicopter went down. The chopper was flying in foggy conditions considered dangerous enough that local police agencies grounded their own aircrafts. Police confirmed that there were no survivors in the crash.
Continue on to learn about the nine people who died in the crash, starting with the NBA legend and father of four.
Kobe Bryant, 41, was an 18-time NBA All-Star, two-time Olympic gold medalist and five-time NBA championship winner. He was named the league's MVP in 2008 and was also a two-time NBA scoring champion. In 2018, he won an Academy Award for his contributions to Dear Basketball, an animated short film about his relationship to the game.
Gianna Bryant, 13, often called "Gigi," was the second eldest of Kobe Bryant's four daughters. He coached Gianna's AAU basketball team out of his Mamba Sports Academy training facility in Thousand Oaks — where the helicopter was headed on Sunday morning — for the past two years. Bryant told Jimmy Kimmel in 2018 that Gianna had aspirations to be a professional basketball player like her father.
"This kid, man... the best thing that happens is when we go out, and fans will come up to me," Bryant told Kimmel. "And she'll be standing next to me, and they will be like, 'You gotta have a boy, you and V got have a boy, man, to have somebody carry on the tradition, the legacy.'"
"She's like, 'Hey, I got this. Don't need a boy for that,'" Bryant recalled. "I'm like, 'That's right.'"
It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of Orange Coast College head baseball coach John Altobelli. He was a coach, a colleague, a mentor and a friend at OCC for 27 years.January 26, 2020
John Altobelli was the head baseball coach at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California. His wife Keri and their daughter Alyssa were also on board.
CBS Boston reports that Jason Altobelli was a former coach of the Brewster Whitecaps on Cape Cod, and had managed players who eventually made the major leagues, including Yankees slugger Aaron Judge.
Christina Mauser's husband posted to Facebook that she died in the helicopter crash. Mauser was a mom of three and a basketball coach at Harbor Day School in Newport Beach, California, where Kobe Bryant's daughter attended school.
"My kids and I are devastated. We lost our beautiful wife and mom today in a helicopter crash," Matt Mauser wrote on Facebook. "Please respect our privacy. Thank you for all the well wishes they mean so much."
In addition to Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, @CBSNews has identified the other victims of the deadly helicopter crash in California:January 27, 2020
Sarah Chester and her middle school aged daughter Payton were also on board, CBS News reports.
Friends have identified the pilot as— Christina Pascucci (@ChristinaKTLA) January 27, 2020
Ara Zobayan. He taught aspiring heli pilots to fly and was very much loved in the aviation community. They wrote “rest easy as you take your final flight to heaven.”@KTLA #KobeBryant pic.twitter.com/8pQh9eNJTk
The helicopter was reportedly piloted by Ara Zobayan, who received his commercial pilot certificate in 2007, according to the FAA. KTLA reporter Christina Pascucci reported that friends identified the man and said he taught aspiring pilots to fly and was beloved by the aviation community.