Bryant was flying with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people when the helicopter went down “in a remote field” in Calabasas, Calif. around 10 a.m., according to the Associated Press.
All nine people aboard the helicopter were killed, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said. But pending official word from the coroner, he would not confirm the passengers’ identities. “It would be entirely inappropriate right now to identify anyone by name,” Villanueva said at a news conference.
Before retiring from the NBA in 2016, Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers for the entirety of his two-decade career, winning the NBA Finals five times.
Bryant was also a longtime helicopter passenger, famously flying from his Orange County home to Lakers games at the Staples Center in Los Angeles during his career.
Bryant also won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2018 for Dear Basketball, which he wrote and narrated.