Kobe Bryant, the former LA Lakers basketball player, record breaker, multiple MVP and Oscar winner, has reportedly died at the age of 41.
Various sources are reporting that Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning, while travelling to a game.
Fans and players alike have paid tribute to Bryant, who played shooting guard and retired in 2016.
Bryant was travelling across Calabasas, California, when the star’s helicopter reportedly caught fire and crashed at 10.00am. Eyewitnesses told the BBC that they heard the engine sputtering before it crashed.
Widely considered to be one of the best players of the game ever, Bryant was a five time NBA title winner who played his entire 20 year career with the LA Lakers.
Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day.— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 26, 2020
Bryant was 2008’s MVP and twice won the NBAs annual scoring championship, as well as being a two time Olympic Gold medalist. He also became the youngest player in league history, at 34 years and 104 days, to reach 30,000 career points. He remains the Lakers’ leading scorer.
Bryant once scored 81 points in a single game against the Toronto Raptors, which is still the second highest individual score in a game, behind the great Wilt Chamberlain’s 1962 100-point game.
In 2018, Bryant won the Best Animated Short Film Oscar for his animation Dear Basketball.