Volume 85, Issue 18 Web Edition SERVING BREVARD COLLEGE SINCE 1935
NBA superstar and expected Hall
of Famer Kobe Bryant dies at 41
By Aia Andonovska
The seven people who died in the helicopter crash beside Kobe Bryant,
and his daughter, Gianna, were remembered this past Monday. Officials are
investigating why the helicopter crashed suddenly in Calabasas, California.
The crash occurred about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
The Sikorsky S-76B departed from the John Wayne Airport and was
headed for the Camarillo Airport. Since 2018, this helicopter had flown
between these two airports at least two dozen times. This past Sunday,
however, the helicopter took a different route due to low visibility and
never made it to its final destination.
Giana Bryant’s teammates Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester were
identified in the crash along with their basketball coach, Christina Mauser.
Payton’s mother, Sarah Chester, and Alyssa’s parents, John and Keri
Altobelli were also killed in the fatal helicopter ride. The pilot, who also
perished, was named Ara Zobayan.
Kobe had a twenty year legacy with the Lakers, and was only forty-one
at the time of his death. His daughter, Gianna, was only thirteen. Fellow
player LeBron James finally broke silence on the matter Monday, posting
to Instagram a note to Kobe.
“I’m not ready but here I go,” the post started. “Man I sitting here trying
to write something for this post but every time I try I begin crying again
just thinking about you, niece Gigi and the friendship/bond/brotherhood
we had! I literally just heard your voice Sunday morning before I left
Philly to head back to LA. Didn’t think for one bit in a million years that
would be the last conversation we’d have.” This heart-wrenching note
and the untimely death of Kobe came right after LeBron beat Bryant’s
all-time scoring record with the NBA.
TMZ has also been criticized during this tragic time, for breaking the
news that Kobe had passed along with eight other people. The police
reacted harshly towards the news outlet, on account of not even being
able to break the news to the families of the victims first.
According to CNN, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva dissed
the news outlet at a press conference while explaining why officials didn’t
release the identities of the nine people killed in the crash earlier in the day.
“It would be extremely disrespectful to understand that your loved
one ... perished and you learn about it from TMZ,” he said. “That is just
Los Angeles County Undersheriflf Tim Murakamijsaid later on Sunday
that he was also “saddened that I was gathering facts as a media outlet
reported that Kobe had passed.”
“I understand getting the scoop but please allow us time to make personal
notifications to their loved ones. It’s very cold to hear of the loss via
media,” he tweeted. “Breaks my heart.”
May the families who are dealing with these painful losses be uplifted
during this time.
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Gianna Bryant and her father, basketball great Kobe Bryant, attend the 2019 WNBA All-Star Game at the Mandalay Bay Events Center In Las Vegas.