Get the facts straight: Kobe Bryant’s death

All about Kobe’s recent death


Rachel Oliver

Basketball superstar Kobe Bryant killed in helicopter crash on Jan. 26.

by Jharna Kamath, Reporter

What happened?

Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were killed in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 on their way to Gianna’s basketball game. Six other passengers aboard the helicopter were killed as well.

Why did they crash?

Kobe Bryant and his pilot, Ara Zobayan, made the flight frequently in the past, as Bryant preferred using a helicopter to avoid Los Angeles traffic. On Jan. 26, worsening weather conditions in the area caused the Los Angeles Police Department to ground their police helicopters, but Zobayan decided to finish the flight instead of landing halfway. Many other factors could have influenced the crash, including malfunctioning instruments and the pilot being disoriented by flying above the clouds. 

Who was killed?

Along with Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Orange County basketball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa, Mamba Academy Assistant Basketball Coach Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton were all killed in the crash. 

What is Bryant’s legacy?

Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa and three daughters, Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. Bryant was drafted at age 17 by the Charlotte Hornets before being traded to the Lakers, straight out of high school. His career spanned 20 years, and upon leaving the NBA in 2016, both of his jerseys, No. 8 and No. 24, were retired. Bryant’s involvement with basketball and the NBA was increasing leading up to his death because of his daughter Gianna’s love of the sport. 

Bryant was also involved in many philanthropic ventures, such as After-School-All-Stars, a non-profit providing after school care to children in 13 cities. He also founded the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation which was created to help the homeless.