Kids at Kobe Bryant's Youth Basketball Tournament Photographed Mourning Together After His Death

The late NBA star was reportedly headed to the tournament with his daughter at the time of the crash

Kobe Bryant was remembered at the Mamba Cup Tournament Series that he founded, which was already underway when he tragically died in a helicopter crash over Calabasas Sunday morning.

The basketball tournament was created by the late NBA legend, 41, to offer a high-level youth basketball competition for players in second through eighth grade. Teams had their opening games this weekend and the tournament was set to hold championship games March 21 to 22.

Upon learning the news of Bryant’s death, children and coaches at the tournament stopped the games and appeared to kneel in prayer together, per reporter Alexan Balekian.

“This photo taken this morning at #KobeBryant tournament in #calabasas as the kids received the news,” the reporter shared on Twitter alongside a photo of the emotional moment. “A youth team from Tenaya was playing in the tournament when they received the news and cancelled games. #heartbreaking.”

Another reporter, Josh Cain, also shared that the tournament had been canceled after news of Bryant’s death.

“Jose Miranda is the coach of a club team from Porterville, CA. He saw Kobe yesterday,” Cain tweeted, spotlighting one of the coaches involved in Bryant’s tournament.

“There were more Mamba Cup games scheduled today. A few hours ago, officials canceled the tournament,” he added. “The teams were gathered into the gym and told what happened. Very emotional moment for them.”

The five-time NBA champion had been with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others when his private helicopter went down.

Emergency personnel responded but none of the nine people onboard survived, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said during a press conference.

Spokespersons for Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Los Angeles Police Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Sources told ESPN that the helicopter was headed to the tournament for Gianna. Bryant began coaching his daughter’s basketball team in retirement.

Kobe Bryant
Harry How/Getty

Since the start of his basketball career, Bryant, the son of former NBA player Joe Bryant, was one of the most accomplished men in the NBA, having played all 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Adam Silver, the NBA’s commissioner and chief executive officer, issued a statement on Sunday night, calling the late player “one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game.”

“The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna,” Silver’s statement began.

The statement continued: “For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning. He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary: five NBA championships, an NBA MVP award, 18 NBA All-Star selections, and two Olympic gold medals. But he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability. He was generous with the wisdom he acquired and saw it as his mission to share it with future generations of players, taking a special delight in passing down his love of the game to Gianna.”

“We send out heartfelt condolences to his wife, Vanessa, and their family, the Lakers organization and the entire sports world,” Silver’s statement concluded.

Several of Bryant’s friends, former teammates and fans have been sharing emotional tributes to the legendary basketball pro, remembering him and his legacy on-and-off the court.

Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa, 37, and three of their four children together: daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.

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