The NBA legend was reportedly traveling with at least three other people in his private helicopter

By Eric Todisco Jodi Guglielmi
January 26, 2020 02:58 PM

Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas Sunday morning, a source confirms to PEOPLE.

The NBA legend, 41, was reportedly traveling in his private helicopter when it went down, according to TMZ. A rep for Bryant also confirmed to TMZ that his daughter Gianna, 13, was killed in the crash. The outlet says that Bryant’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, was not onboard.

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.

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

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.

Bryant entered the NBA straight out of high school in the 1996 draft, becoming the first guard ever drafted directly out school. During his time in the NBA, he went on to become an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA team and 12-time All-Defensive team member. In 2008, he was named NBA’s Most Valuable Player. After losing the 2008 NBA Finals, Bryant helped lead the Lakers to championships in both 2009 and 2010, earning him the Finals MVP award.

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In 2003, Bryant was accused of sexual assault by a 19-year-old hotel employee. Bryant admitted to an adulterous sexual encounter with the accuser but maintained that it was consensual. The charges were eventually dropped and a civil suit was settled out of court.

At the age of 34, Bryant suffered a torn Achilles tendon. Though he recovered, he later suffered career-ending injuries to his knee and shoulder. Bryant retired after the 2015-2016 season, during which time he was still considered among the top players in the NBA.

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Until yesterday, he was the third-leading scorer in NBA history with 33,643 points but was surpassed by LeBron James. James paid tribute to Bryant with special Nike shoes during the game against the Philadelphia 76ers.

After the game, Bryant congratulated James on his latest milestone.

“On to #2 @kingjames! Keep growing the game and charting the path for the next,” the retired star shared on Instagram.

“Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother 💪🏾 #33644,” Bryant tweeted.

  • Reporting by DARLENE ADEROJU
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