Kobe Bryant dies at 41
Orange Coast College (OCC) baseball coach John Altobelli, 56, his daughter Alyssa Altobelli and wife Keri Altobelli were aboard the helicopter with Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna when it crashed Sunday morning in Calabasas, California, Altobelli’s brother Tony Altobelli told CNN.
Gianna and Alyssa were teammates at the Mamba Academy and were flying from Orange County to Thousand Oaks to attend a game, OCC assistant coach Ron La Ruffa told CNN.
“It was something John routinely did, flying up with Kobe to attend games with his daughter,” La Ruffa said.
OCC Athletic Director Jason Kehler said in a statement Sunday that John Altobelli "meant so much to not only Orange Coast College, but to baseball."
He truly personified what it means to be a baseball coach. The passion that he put into the game, but more importantly his athletes, was second to none -- he treated them like family," Kehler said
Altobelli was honored by the American Baseball Coaches Association in 2019 as an ABCA/Diamond National Coach of the Year.
“We have lost a member of our OCC family, and our hearts are broken,” said OCC President Angelica Suarez. “Coach Altobelli was a giant on our campus -- a beloved teacher, coach, colleague and friend. This is a tremendous loss for our campus community.”
In a series of tweets Sunday, Earvin "Magic" Johnson -- a former Laker and the team's president of basketball operations -- spoke candidly about Kobe Bryant.
"I love him, his family and what he stood for on the court and off the court," Johnson tweeted.
"My friend, a legend, husband, father, son, brother, Oscar winner and greatest Laker of all-time is gone. It’s hard to accept. Kobe was a leader of our game, a mentor to both male and female players," he said.
Read Johnson's tweets below:
NBA legend Michael Jordan is in "shock" over the news of Kobe Bryan's passing, calling the former Los Angeles Lakers star "a fierce competitor, one of the greats of the game and a creative force."
Jordan's spokesperson tweeted his statement this afternoon.
"I am in shock over the tragic news of Kobe's and Gianna's passing. Words can't describe the pain I'm feeling. I loved Kobe-he was like a little brother to me. We used to talk often, and I will miss those conversations very much. He was a fierce competitor, one of the greats of the game and a creative force. Kobe was also an amazing dad who loved his family deeply-and took great pride in his daughter's love for the game of basketball. Yvette joins me in sending my deepest condolences to Vanessa, the Lakers organization and basketball fans around the world," Jordan said.
Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers spoke to reporters Sunday about Kobe Bryant's death.
"He was such a great opponent. It's what you want in sports. He had that DNA that very few athletes can ever have," Rivers said.
The Clippers are due to play the Orlando Magic tonight at 6 p.m. ET.
Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva says that nine people — the pilot and eight others — were aboard the helicopter that crashed earlier today in Calabasas, California.
The Sheriff did not identify anyone on the flight, saying it was "entirely inappropriate" to do so at this time until the coroner made the identification to the next of kin.
"It'd be extremely disrespectful to understand that your loved one was perished and you learned about it from TMZ," Villanueva said. "That is just wholly inappropriate, so we're not gonna be going there. We're gonna wait until the coroner does their job."
First Lady Melania Trump shared her "thoughts and prayers" to Kobe Bryant's family in the wake of his death Sunday.
The Lady Mavericks basketball team was seen today mourning the death of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California.
The Lady Mavericks were playing in the Mamba Cup basketball tournament where Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi were expected for a game today at noon.
Orange Coast College (OCC) baseball coach John Altobelli died in the helicopter crash with Kobe Bryant early Sunday morning, OCC assistant coach Ron La Ruffa told Orange County Register newspaper.
There were five people aboard the helicopter that crashed in Calabasas, CA, on Sunday morning.
Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria Onore Bryant have been identified as the two other passengers who died on the helicopter. The names and identities of the two other passengers have not been identified.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued a statement today regarding the passing of Kobe Bryant, saying the 5-time NBA champion "showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning."
“The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna," Silver said. "For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning. He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary: five NBA championships, an NBA MVP award, 18 NBA All-Star selections, and two Olympic gold medals. But he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability. He was generous with the wisdom he acquired and saw it as his mission to share it with future generations of players, taking special delight in passing down his love of the game to Gianna."
Silver added: “We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Vanessa, and their family, the Lakers organization and the entire sports world.”