Legendary NBA player Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Maria Onore have died in a California helicopter crash on Sunday. The retired basketball player was 41.
Bryant and his daughter was among at least four people traveling in his private helicopter over Calabasas when a fire broke out, sending the chopper spiralling from the sky, according to TMZ Sports.
There were no survivors, and authorities are still investigating the incident.
Bryant, a five-time NBA champion, played for the LA Lakers throughout his career and is considered one of the greatest players in the game’s history. He retired in April 2016.
His achievements include being the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) and two-time NBA Finals MVP. He was also NBA scoring champion twice and a two-time Olympic champion.
He famously scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors in 2006, the second-highest single-game total in NBA history.
Bryant and his wife, Vanessa, have three other daughters, Natalia, Bianca and Capri.
Tributes from celebrities and fellow sports stars have been pouring in, many expressing shock at his sudden death.
Moments of silence have been observed at basketball games across the US. The NBA issued a statement saying it was “devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna”.
“For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning,” it said.
Bryant has also been remembered at the Grammy Awards which are being held at the Los Angeles Lakers’ stadium.
“We’re all feeling crazy sadness right now,” said Grammys host Alicia Keys.
“Because earlier today Los Angeles, America and the whole wide world lost a hero. We’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built.”