Former NBA superstar and US basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were among nine persons killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday in the city of Calabasas about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna died along with seven others. The group was believed to be heading to the Mamba Academy he founded in Thousand Oaks, for a youth tournament involving his daughter and her teammates Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester.
Alyssa and Payton were also killed in the crash alongside Alyssa’s parents John and Keri Altobelli, Payton’s mother Sarah Chester, girls’ basketball coach Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan.
The 41-year-old, an 18-time NBA All-Star rocketed to fame as an 18-year-old and played for the Los Angeles Lakers for 20 years and winning five NBA championships.
On Sunday night, Bryant was also remembered at the Grammy Awards, which were held at the Staples Center, the Los Angeles Lakers’ stadium.
Host, Alicia Keys said “we’re all feeling crazy sadness right now… 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.”
The National Basketball Association 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 famously scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors in 2006, the second-highest single-game total in NBA history.
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.
Bryant and his wife, Vanessa, have three other daughters, Natalia, Bianca and Capri.
Flight data shows the aircraft appeared to get into trouble above the LA Zoo, where it circled for 15 minutes at a very low altitude in the run-up to the crash at around 10am.
In air traffic control audio which was recorded shortly before the crash, the pilot of the Sikorsky is told by a controller that ‘you’re still too low level’ to be tracked by radar.
The US Federal Aviation Administration identified the crashed helicopter as a Sikorsky S-76, saying in a statement the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board would investigate.
Court Frees Pinnick, Sanusi From Being Joined In Financial Misappropriation Case
The Federal Capital Territory high court has cleared NFF president Amaju Pinnick and secretary general Mohammed Sanusi of a case of financial misappropriation brought against the pair by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Justice Peter O. Affen refused the amendment sought by the EFCC to include Pinnick and Sanusi to a trial of misappropriation of an eight-million-dollar FIFA grant.
This is the second time the court has thrown out financial allegations against both parties.
Pinnick and Sanusi say the charges were borne out of envy, malice, victimization and vendetta.
IFAB Rules Out Immediate Change To Offside Law After Wenger Floats VAR Proposal
International Football Association Board (IFAB) has ruled out the possibility of Arsene Wenger’s proposed changes to the offside law making it in time for this summer’s European championships.
The former arsenal manager’s proposals would mean a player would be deemed onside if any part of his body is level or behind the last defender.
However, IFAB general secretary Lukas Brud told Sky Sports news there will be no law change regarding offside at this month’s annual general meeting.
Rangers Protest Against Referee Jacob Gwatsa
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Rangers say the referee intentionally ignored two clear penalty calls which cost them the victory.
Rangers wondered if it was a coincidence that the same referee, whose decision was reversed by the LMC barely a year ago, could be found culpable again
The ‘Flying Antelopes’ are appealing to LMC for justice.
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