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8 other victims who died in the Kobe Bryant crash

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A family of three, a mother-daughter pair and Kobe Bryant‘s own child, Gianna, were among the eight people who died alongside the NBA star in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., on Sunday.

A total of nine people were killed when Bryant’s private Sikorsky S-76 helicopter went down in foggy conditions on Sunday, investigators said. The helicopter was on its way to a girls’ basketball game when it crashed.

So far, here’s what we know about the people who died with Bryant in the crash.

 

Gianna Bryant

Gianna Bryant, 13, was the second-oldest of her father’s four children, all of them girls. She was commonly known as Gigi and was a rising star in girls’ basketball.

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Kobe Bryant is shown with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.

Kobe Bryant is shown with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.


Kobe Bryant/Instagram

Bryant took an active role in coaching Gianna at his Mamba Sports Academy, and he once touted her as a basketball star in the making.

He told Jimmy Kimmel in an 2018 interview that he didn’t need a son to carry on his legacy because he had Gianna.

“The best thing that happens is when we go out and fans would come up to me and she’ll be standing next to me,” Bryant told Kimmel. “And they’ll be like, ‘You’ve gotta have a boy, you and (Vanessa) gotta have a boy. You gotta have somebody to carry on your tradition, the legacy.

“She’s like, ‘Oy, I got this,’” Bryant recalled. “I’m like, ‘That’s right. Yes, you do. You got this.’”

Alyssa, Kerri and John Altobelli

Alyssa Altobelli, 13, and her parents, Kerri and John Altobelli, were also killed in the crash.

John Altobelli, 56, was the longtime head coach of the Orange Coast College baseball team in Southern California.

John Altobelli, 56, is shown in this photo shared by OCC Athletics.

John Altobelli, 56, is shown in this photo shared by OCC Athletics.


OCC Athletics/Twitter

The college described him as a “coach, a colleague, a mentor and a friend” who had worked there for 27 years.

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“He truly personified what it meant to be a baseball coach,” the school’s athletic director Jason Kehler said in a statement. “The passion that he put into the game, but more importantly his athletes, was second to none — he treated them like family.”

Alyssa played on Gianna’s team at Mamba, CBS News reports. Kobe Bryant praised Alyssa’s defensive game in an Instagram video last November.

Christina Mauser

Christine Mauser, 38, was a girls’ basketball coach at a private school and a wife and mother, according to Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley.

Christina Mauser’s husband, Matt, shared his memories of her in an emotional interview with the Today show.

“It’s horrible,” he said. “I got three small kids and am trying to figure out how to navigate life with three kids and no mom.”

He explained that Bryant had hand-picked his wife to be an assistant coach for Gianna’s Mamba Academy basketball team.

“He picked her because she was amazing,” Mauser said. “I was so proud of her and she was so happy.”

Matt Mauser is shown with his wife, Christina, in this 2014 photo from his Facebook page.

Matt Mauser is shown with his wife, Christina, in this 2014 photo from his Facebook page.


Matt Mauser/Facebook

Christina Mauser is survived by children aged 11, nine and three.

“She was beautiful, smart, funny,” Matt Mauser said.

Sarah and Payton Chester

Sarah Chester and her middle school-aged daughter, Payton, were on the helicopter due to a break in their normal routine, Payton’s grandmother Catherine George told NBC News.

“They had to get on the helicopter as a convenience today,” George said. “They usually drove by car.”

Todd Schmidt, who was the principal at Payton’s former elementary school, described the Chester family as “engaged, supportive, encouraging and full of mischief and laughter.”

Payton Chester is shown in this image shared on Facebook by her former principal, Todd Schmidt.

Payton Chester is shown in this image shared on Facebook by her former principal, Todd Schmidt.


Todd Schmidt/Facebook

“This family made such a huge impact,” Schmidt wrote on Facebook. “While the world mourns the loss of a dynamic athlete and humanitarian, I mourn the loss of two people just as important … Their impact was just as meaningful, their loss will be just as keenly felt, and our hearts are just as broken.”

Ara Zobayan

Friends and colleagues have identified the pilot as Ara Zobayan, the New York Times reports.

Ara Zobayan is shown in this file photo.

Ara Zobayan is shown in this file photo.


Via KTLA

Zobayan was a longtime pilot and a dedicated flight instructor, student Darren Kemp told the Los Angeles Times. He added that Zobayan was Bryant’s private pilot whom he trusted.

“He doesn’t let anyone else fly him around but Ara,” Kemp told the L.A. Times.

Zobayan received his commercial pilot certificate in 2007, CBS reports.

With files from The Associated Press

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James questions media disparity in coverage of Irving tweet, Jerry Jones photo

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeBron James has questions about the disparity of media scrutiny he believes is being applied to a 1957 photo of Jerry Jones and the recent controversy surrounding Kyrie Irving.

The photo of Jones, captured by an Associated Press photographer, shows him standing among a group of white students at North Little Rock High School in Arkansas on Sept. 9, 1957. The group was blocking six Black students who were attempting to desegregate the school and news reports said that moments after the image was taken, the students were shoved down a flight of stairs.

The photo accompanied a Washington Post story last month that was about Jones’ legacy as owner of the Dallas Cowboys, including how the team has never had a Black head coach.

James has spoken often about the Cowboys — he was a fan of the team for years before saying in October on Instagram Live that he has switched allegiances — but said Wednesday that he found it interesting that he wasn’t asked about the Jones photo.

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“When I watched Kyrie talk, and he says, ‘I know who I am, but I want to keep the same energy when we’re talking about my people and the things they’ve been through,’ and that Jerry Jones photo is one of those moments that our people, Black people, have been through in America,” James said after the Los Angeles Lakers’ game on Wednesday night. “And I feel like as a Black man, as a Black athlete, someone with power and with a platform, when we do something wrong or something that people don’t agree with, it’s on every single tabloid, every single news coverage. It’s on the bottom ticker. It’s asked about every single day.

“But it seems like to me that the whole Jerry Jones situation, the photo, and I know it was years and years ago, and we all make mistakes, I get it. It seems like it’s just been buried under, like, ‘Oh, it happened. OK. We just move on.’ And I was just kind of disappointed that I haven’t received that question from you guys.”

Irving was suspended for an eventual eight games by the Brooklyn Nets earlier this season after the guard — a former teammate of James’ with the Cleveland Cavaliers — tweeted a link to a film containing antisemitic material.

James was asked by reporters about that last month, and he made clear that he thought Irving made a significant mistake.

“There’s no place in this world for it,” James said in November. “Nobody can benefit from that and I believe what Kyrie did caused some harm to a lot of people. … We as humans, none of us are perfect. But I hope he understands how what he did and the actions that he took were just harmful to a lot of people.”

Jones told reporters last week that he was at that school entrance as “a curious kid.” He was 14 at the time.

“That was, gosh, 65 years ago, and (I was a) curious kid,” Jones said. “I didn’t know at the time the monumental event really that was going on. And I’m sure glad that we’re a long way from that.”

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Canada coach John Herdman disputes Croatian counterpart’s account of skipped post-match handshake

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Canada head coach John Herdman during a World Cup match against Croatia, at the Khalifa International Stadium, in Doha, Qatar, on Nov. 27.The Associated Press

Canada coach John Herdman is disputing his Croatian counterpart’s account of why there was no handshake after their World Cup game.

Herdman had antagonized the Croatian camp with a heated postgame message to his players after Canada’s opening 1-0 loss to Belgium at the soccer showcase. Asked in a pitch-side interview what he had said in a postgame huddle to his players, Herdman replied: “I told them they belong here and we’re going to go and eff – Croatia. That’s as simple as it gets.”

That prompted a stern lecture from Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic on the need for respect. And after Croatia beat the Canadians 4-1 Sunday, Dalic was asked if he had a chance to shake hands with Herdman following the final whistle.

“I did not see the other head coach after the match,” he said through an interpreter. “When I lose I always congratulate the winner. He was not there and that’s his way of doing things. He’s obviously mad. He is a good coach. He is a high-quality professional. But it will take some time for him to learn some things.”

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Herdman, whose postgame news conference preceded Dalic’s on Sunday, disputed that account Wednesday when asked about it.

“Look, we shook hands before the game. So that happened,” he said. “At the end of the game, the usual process – no different than [with Belgium coach] Roberto Martinez. You shake hands with the coach, then you go shake hands with the referee.

“When I turned round, [Dalic] was already off down the touchline, which is his right to do. He’s celebrating. He’s just beaten Canada. It was a big celebration for him. He was off and I couldn’t get to shake his hand. I went into the field, shook the ref’s hand, shook players’ hands. And didn’t get to see him.

“That moment’s gone. We’re into process now – team huddle, see your fans, flash interviews, calm yourself down so you don’t say anything and move on.”

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