Baseball coach, family also killed in helicopter crash with Kobe Bryant

Sports

Firefighters work the scene of a helicopter crash where former NBA star Kobe Bryant died, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, in Calabasas, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on the death of retired NBA superstar Kobe Bryant (all times local):

4:40 p.m.

A Southern California community college baseball coach, his wife and daughter were among those killed in the crash of the helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant and his daughter.

The younger brother of Orange Coast College coach John Altobelli confirmed the deaths as relatives, friends and players gathered at the school’s baseball field Sunday afternoon. Flowers and baseball caps were placed on home plate.

John Altobelli’s brother, Tony, is the sports information director at the school. He said his 56-year-old brother died along with his wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa, who was about 13 and played on the same basketball team as Bryant’s daughter, Gianna.

John Altobelli was entering his 28th season as coach at the community college in Costa Mesa, California. The team won a state championship last year and John Altobelli was named national coach of the year.

The helicopter carrying Bryant crashed northwest of Los Angeles around 10 a.m. Sunday. All nine people aboard were killed.

3:45 p.m.

The National Transportation Safety Board is sending a team of 18 people to the scene of the helicopter crash that killed NBA icon Kobe Bryant and eight others.

NTSB member Jennifer Homendy said at a news conference that investigators will look at the pilot’s history, the maintenance records and information on the helicopter’s owner and operator. Homendy said investigators were not sure how many people the aircraft was configured to carry.

The helicopter that crashed was a twin-engine Sikorsky S-76.

3 p.m.

Michael Jordan has reacted to the news about the death of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter in a helicopter crash. “I loved Kobe – he was like a little brother to me,” Jordan said.

Jordan was the most notable of former and current NBA stars to express how shocked they were at the news. Jordan commended Bryant for his fierce competitive streak and called him “one of the greats of the game.”

Bryant’s legacy is often compared to that of Jordan. Bryant won five NBA championships, compared to Jordan’s six.

2:45 p.m.

Authorities say nine people died in the helicopter crash that killed former NBA star Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva provided the updated death toll at a news conference Sunday.

Initial reports indicated that Bryant was among five people killed in the crash.

At the news conference, authorities also described the fiery wreckage and scene that was difficult to access after the crash at 10 a.m.

1:45 p.m.

A source familiar with the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant says the former NBA star’s 13-year-old daughter was among those on board who were killed.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because details of the crash had not been released publicly. The crash happened around 10 a.m. Sunday about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

Five people were killed in the crash, which remains under investigation.

12:35 p.m.

The Grammy Awards pre-telecast ceremony opened with a moment of silence for Kobe Bryant.

Interim Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. opened the ceremony where dozens of Grammys are handed out before the main show, telling attendees, “As most of you may know, we lost Kobe Bryant in a tragic helicopter accident today.”

“Since we are in his house, I would ask you to join me in a moment of silence,” Mason said.

Artists arriving at the show reacted to Bryant’s death and his influence.

Blues artist and Grammys nominee Keb’ Mo’ called Bryant’s death “a huge loss.”

“He’s just a huge role model,” Keb’ Mo’ said.

British artist Labrinth said: “It was insane news to hear this morning. He’s been part of my life for a very long time. … I couldn’t believe it.”

12 p.m.

Retired NBA star Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash Sunday. He was 41. A person familiar with the situation tells the AP that Bryant died in a crash near Calabasas, California.

It was unclear if other family members were on the helicopter.

Bryant was an 18-time NBA All-Star who won five championships and became one of the greatest basketball players of his generation during a 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant retired in 2016 as the third-leading scorer in NBA history and held that spot until LeBron James overtook him Saturday night.

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