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NBA legend, soccer fan Kobe Bryant dies in Helicopter Crash

NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash Sunday morning.

Seven additional people, including the pilot, were on the helicopter’s flight manifest but will not be identified until the coroner’s report is released and family members are notified, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The Sheriff’s Department confirmed there were no survivors of the crash.

The plane crashed just outside of Los Angeles, in which Bryant and his daughter were flying to attend an AAU Basketball Game, according to ESPN.

Born in Philadelphia, Bryant graduated from Lower Merion High School and went on to become one of the best NBA players of all-time. During his 20-year basketball career with the Los Angeles Lakers, Bryant won five NBA Championships, two NBA Finals MVP awards, and one NBA MVP.

He finished as the fourth-highest scorer in the history of the NBA with 33,643 points. Bryant also won two Olympic Gold Medals in 2008 and 2012.

Not only was Bryant an avid basketball player, but a soccer fan. Bryant grew up a fan of Italian Serie A side AC Milan after being introduced to the sport while his father played basketball in Italy.

Bryant traveled often to attend Major League Soccer games, as well as matches in Europe. He recently became a spokesperson for the partnership between energy drink company BodyArmor and MLS, which Bryant helped announce during MLS Media Day in Los Angeles earlier this month.

As players, coaches and fans in the NBA mourned Bryant’s passing, the news rocked the soccer world as well. Stars from the United States National Teams and MLS shared their sympathies following the news on social media.

PSG and Brazil star Neymar honored Bryant by holding up the “24” with his fingers scoring a goal against Lille on Sunday.


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