Last Sunday morning, traveling to play the game they both loved, Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, passed away in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff, Alex Villanueva, stated that the helicopter contained nine people, none of whom survived. Family and friends unofficially identified all of the passengers and the pilot. The crash is still under investigation as of Jan. 30.
Bryant’s avenues of passion—basketball, family and youth, among others—drove others to push the limits in not only sports but also in life. The player’s iconic No. 24 jersey represented the 24 hours in each day, encouraging him to always bring his best.
Going straight from high school to the NBA in 1996, Bryant gave the Lakers an exceptional 20 years full of incredible feats and records.
During that time, he won five NBA titles, two NBA Finals MVP awards, one NBA regular season MVP nod and two Olympic gold medals competing for the United States.
Bryant was more than a respected and honored basketball player and coach; he was a family man married to Vanessa Bryant with four daughters.
After his retirement from the NBA, he branched out into the business and entertainment industry which led to him winning an Oscar and an Academy Award for his animated short, “Dear Basketball,” and creating a book series, “The Wizenard Series.”
His legacy will always stay within the hearts of family, friends and fans.