Athletes at the Mamba Sports Academy pay tribute to Kobe and Gianna Bryant.
Students and athletes at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks California which Kobe Bryant had founded and where his daughter Gianna played basketball were grief-stricken by the news of their horrific death.
Father and daughter were on their way to the Academy to participate in a game (Bryant was the team's coach) when their chopper crashed on the hills of Calabasas.
Grief-stricken athletes fell to their knees, praying and weeping openly
13-year-old Gianna and Kobe Bryant at the WNBA All-Star Game in July 2019 Source: Getty Images
A photographer captured the moment in which the news of Gigi and Bryant's death was announced at the Mamba Academy.
The horrified and grief-stricken athletes fell to their knees, praying and weeping openly for two people they had expected to spend the day with.
Bryant was the coach, and Gianna was expected to play in the day's game which was part of the Mamba Cup Series. As a result of the fatal accident, all competitions scheduled to take place at the training center have been canceled.
Kobe Bryant and Gianna are survived by mother and wife Vanessa Bryant and the couple's three daughters: Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and tiny Capri, just 7 months old.
We join the millions of fans around the world in prayer for Kobe Bryant's wife and children in their hour of grief.
Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant were more than colleagues, they were friends, and considered each other family.
Shaq expressed his pain at the sudden death of the man he called his "brother," and the young promising girl he considered his niece. He posted a message on Twitter, saying:
"There’s no words to express the pain I’m going through with this tragedy of losing my niece Gigi & my brother @kobebryant"
Shaq also shared 4 snaps of himself with Bryant, who had played for the LA Lakers together and won three straight championships.