Kobe Bryant death: Heartbreaking footage shows Gianna, 13, playing basketball, just weeks before tragic death
Kobe Bryant's tragic death following a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California sent shock waves across the globe. The 41-year-old basketball star was with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna 'Gigi' Bryant and at least six others, who also lost their lives.
No sooner did the news hit social media than heartbreaking footage emerged of Gigi showing off the basketball skills she learned from her father just weeks before the tragic incident. In an Instagram video from December, she can be seen dribbling the ball and shooting in heels and a dress while her teammates practice around her on court.
Gigi was drawn to basketball much like her father and was apparently trying to hone her skills. Another video of the father-daughter duo was seen on Twitter, where Kobe can be seen breaking down the game and explaining something in-depth to his daughter.
The clip was shared by professional FIFA player Faze Tass, who captioned it: "Kobe's daughter Gianna, has been confirmed on the helicopter, she loved basketball just as much as her Dad, and this clip of the two genuinely breaks my heart, my deepest prayers are sent to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family, I am so upset."
According to reports, the chopper was on its way to Bryant's Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks for basketball practice and officials with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department responded to the crash near Las Virgenes Rd and Willow Glen St in Calabasas at around 10am after a fire broke out. The cause of the crash is under investigation. Witnesses reported that the helicopter's engine caught fire before it went down near Kourtney Kardashian's home.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all-time, Bryant started playing when he was three and spent his entire 20-year career with the LA Lakers, winning five NBA championships and 18 All-Star titles before he retired in 2016. He was the first and only Lakers' player to have both his jersey numbers — 8 and 24 — retired.
Reportedly, he has been known to use a Sikorsky S-76 helicopter to travel for years, flying from Newport Beach to the Staples Center for Lakers games.