Tragic news tonight revealed that NBA great Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in California.
The former Los Angeles Lakers star and multiple-time champion was just 41-years-old. Authorities said he was on board with seven other passengers.
It is still unconfirmed exactly who all the passengers were on board the helicopter with Bryant when tragedy struck. However, their identities are starting to emerge, and have now been confirmed to include his daughter Gianna, according to reports.
Kobe Bryant among nine people on board helicopter
The former Lakers star was initially the only name confirmed as being involved in the helicopter crash. The pilot is believed to be one of the eight other reported individuals who died in the fiery crash on Sunday.
A tweet from WPLB Local 10 News initially indicated that Kobe Bryant’s daughters were on board. The Lakers’ star has four daughters. However, the report later appeared to be erroneous.
Kobe’s daughter Gianna confirmed, Rick Fox not on board
TMZ confirmed that Kobe Bryant’s daughter Gianna, age 13, was among those on board the helicopter and lost her life in the crash.
The sad news was backed up by ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski, who said that sources indicated two of the others who lost their lives were another player and their parent. Their identities have not been confirmed.
Sources: Kobe Bryant was on his way to a travel basketball game with his daughter Gianna when the helicopter crashed. Those aboard the helicopter also included another player and parent.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 26, 2020
Kobe was a coach for Gianna’s basketball team and active in helping her learn the sport. He was seen attending basketball games with her including the Hawks vs. Nets game below.
Reportedly, the two were on Kobe’s private helicopter to travel to the Mamba Academy for basketball practice.
One of my favorite videos of Kobe, no it’s not him playing. It’s him being a great teacher and father to his daughter. This is a man who knew how to be a humble human being. That’s all I have to say about that. RIP Mamba pic.twitter.com/DOQUMSy2aY
— Ian Butter (@HypebeastButter) January 26, 2020
There were initially rumors circulating that Rick Fox, a former member of the Los Angeles Lakers, was also on board. However, he was later confirmed by his stepdaughter Jillian Hervey to be safe.
To confirm my stepdad Rick Fox is ALIVE and safe! I just got off the phone with my sister. We are all in shock and deeply saddened but please don’t spread false news. #ripkobe 💔 pic.twitter.com/vGSAShagkk
— LION BABE (@LionBabe) January 26, 2020
Writer Ira Madison III indicated that the reports of Fox being involved started because of a wayward tweet by a member of the public.
I’m told Rick is safe thank god
— Max Borenstein (@MAXBORENSTEIN) January 26, 2020
It has reportedly been confirmed that Bryant’s wife, Vanessa Laine Bryant, was not on board when the helicopter crashed.
Kobe’s other daughters are Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. As of the time of writing, there are no indications that the other three children were on board with Kobe.
Natalia, who is Kobe’s oldest child, is 17 and just celebrated her birthday last week. Bianka was born in 2016 and is three, while newborn Capri arrived in July of 2019.
Details are still coming in concerning exactly who was on board with Kobe Bryant during the tragic crash, and we will provide updates as soon as details emerge.