As were much of the world, I was gutted to hear the news that Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter were killed in a helicopter accident on the weekend. They were heading to Gianna’s basketball game with Kobe coaching the team. The Grammy Awards were on last night and there were tributes all over with jerseys and shout-outs and a moment of silence.
Not to take away any of the sorrow in losing such an incredible man, there were seven other people killed as well who are not getting the recognition they deserve. Their loss is just as painful for their families and friends as Kobe and Gianna Bryant. There were two other girls on Gianna’s team plus one Mom and a Mom and Dad, the assistant coach, and finally the pilot.
- John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa
- Christina Mauser, Assistant Coach
- Sarah Chester and her daughter, Payton
- The pilot, Ara Zobayan
- Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna
From what I have read, Alyssa, Gianna, and Payton all played on the same team and the parents would often fly to watch them play. The pilot had flown Kobe several times before and had other celebrity clients as well. He was well respected as an experienced and trusted helicopter pilot.
I followed Kobe Bryant’s career while he was playing basketball and he was one of my favourite players. However, it was nice getting to “know” the people who perished with him.