Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash in California

UPDATE: Additional victims have been identified in the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna.

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In this Nov. 26, 2013 photo Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant smiles during a media availability before an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards in Washington.

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash Sunday morning in California, according to TMZ. He was 41.

At a press conference Sunday, LA County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the crash and said the flight manifest listed nine people on board Bryant’s helicopter when it took off.

Among those killed were John Altobelli, head coach of Southern California’s Orange Coast College baseball team, his wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa, who played on the same team as Bryant’s daughter, said his brother, Tony, who is the sports information director at the school.

Authorities will wait for the coroner’s report to announce more information.

Bryant, a star for the Los Angeles Lakers for two decades, had been known to use a private helicopter to travel. During his playing days, he used a Sikorsky S-76 helicopter to commute from his Newport Beach home to the Staples Center.

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AP

After making his NBA debut in 1996, Bryant racked up countless accolades as one of the most successful players in basketball history. In addition to his five titles with the Lakers, he was an 18-time All-Star, 15-time All-NBA team member and two-time Olympic gold medalist. Both of the numbers he wore – No. 8 and No. 24 – are retired in Los Angeles.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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