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Kobe Bryant death: Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Melania Trump mourn NBA superstar

Former President Obama, Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also joined him.
UPDATED JAN 27, 2020
AP Photo
AP Photo

President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama were among the many sports fans who mourned NBA star Kobe Bryant's death in a helicopter crash in California on Sunday.

Trump reacted to reports of Bryant's death soon after they began to surface, tweeting: “That is terrible news!”

Hours later, after authorities confirmed Bryant's death, the President tweeted again calling him "one of the truly great basketball players of all time."

"Kobe Bryant, despite being one of the truly great basketball players of all time, was just getting started in life. He loved his family so much, and had such strong passion for the future. The loss of his beautiful daughter, Gianna, makes this moment even more devastating. Melania and I send our warmest condolences to Vanessa and the wonderful Bryant family. May God be with you all!" he wrote.

Former President Obama, Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also joined him.

Obama, a huge basketball fan, also mourned the heartbreaking loss of Bryant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna who was among the nine people killed in the crash. Bryant visited the White House on multiple occasions during Obama’s time in the Oval Office.

"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," Obama tweeted.

First lady Melania Trump offered her thoughts and prayers shortly after her husband's tweet.

Ocasio-Cortez said she was deeply shocked. "Sending all my thoughts to their families and loved ones in this devastating moment," she tweeted.

Andrew Yang called Bryant "the greatest of all time."

"This is the worst news. Kobe is an all-time great who had his entire life ahead of him. My heart goes out to his family, his fans and the millions of people whose lives he touched. Today Kobe is the greatest of all time," Yang tweeted.

Michael Jordan has issued a statement remembering Bryant after his tragic passing. 

"Words can't describe the pain I am feeling. I loved Kobe — he was like a little brother to me. We used to talk often, and I will miss those conversations very much. He was a fierce competitor, one of the greats of the game and a creative force. Kobe was also an amazing dad who loved his family deeply — and took great pride in his daughter's love for the game of basketball,” Jordan said.