Basketball legend Kobe Bryant, daughter die in helicopter crash

US basketball legend Kobe Bryant has been killed in a helicopter crash in the city of Calabasas, California.

Kobe Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Maria Onore Bryant, was also on board the helicopter and died in the Calabasas crash, TMZ Sports reported.

According to TMZ, the two were traveling to the Mamba Academy for a basketball practice when a fire broke out in the helicopter and it crashed, killing all five people on board. The Academy is located in nearby Thousand Oaks.

TMZ reported that the former Lakers basketball player’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, was not among those on board the helicopter. The identity of the other people on board has not been released

Bryant was travelling in a private helicopter when it burst into flames, according to media reports.

The LA County Sheriff’s department said five people died in the helicopter crash on Sunday, with no survivors.

Confirming the death, the City of Calabasas confirmed the news with “great sadness”. It said “nobody on the ground was hurt”.

Eyewitnesses told news site TMZ they heard the helicopter’s engine spluttering before it went down.

The cause of the crash is being investigated.

Five-time NBA champion Bryant, 41, played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He retired in April 2016.

Bryant’s achievements include being the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player and two-time NBA Finals MVP. He was also two-time NBA scoring champion and a two-time Olympic champion.

He also won an Oscar for best short animated film in 2018 for Dear Basketball, a five-minute film based on a love letter to the sport he had written in 2015.

Sources: BBC & TMZ Sports

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