Kobe Bryant: Melania Trump Sends 'Thoughts and Prayers' to Lakers Legend's and Other Victims' Families

First Lady Melania Trump sent her condolences to Kobe Bryant's family after the Los Angeles Lakers legend died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Sunday. Bryant's daughter, 13-year-old Gianna Bryant, also died in the crash, along with six others. Bryant and Gianna were reportedly on their way to the Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks for basketball practice.

"Thoughts and prayers to the family of #Kobe Bryant and those who lost loved ones in today's tragic crash," Trump tweeted. "Rest In Peace."

President Donald Trump tweeted two messages about Bryant's death on Sunday. "Reports are that basketball great Kobe Bryant and three others have been killed in a helicopter crash in California," the president tweeted first. "That is terrible news!"

"Kobe Bryant, despite being one of the truly great basketball players of all time, was just getting started in life," President Trump tweeted in a more formal response. "He loved his family so much, and had such strong passion for the future. The loss of his beautiful daughter, Gianna, makes this moment even more devastating. Melania and I send our warmest condolences to Vanessa and the wonderful Bryant family. May God be with you all!"

Bryant's influence extended far beyond the basketball court, as exemplified by other living presidents sharing messages about his death.

"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," President Barack Obama tweeted. "Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day."

"Hillary and I are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and all those who died in today's helicopter crash," President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a joint statement. "Kobe brought excitement and joy to basketball fans not just in Los Angeles, but all over the U.S. and around the world."

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"He was also a leader off the court, including in his advocacy for young people, especially the vulnerable and homeless — a passion I saw firsthand when I joined him and Vanessa for the opening of a housing project they and their foundation supported," the Clintons continued. "Kobe Bryant lived a very large life in a very short time. But above all, he loved his family. Our prayers are with Vanessa, Natalia, Bianka, and Capri, and all those who lost loved ones today."

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