* The Tragic Loss of a Legend, Kobe Bryant

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By Janet Stephenson

It was a sad day for Conejo Valley and sports fans all over the world when news broke that basketball legend, Kobe Bryant, died in a tragic helicopter crash on the morning of January 26, 2020 in Calabasas, California. The accident also took the life of his thirteen year old daughter, Gianna, and seven others as they flew to Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks, California.

Public pays tribute to Kobe Bryant outside Mamba Sports Academy. Photo by Rick Foley.

Kobe Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers as a shooting guard for twenty years until his retirement four years ago. At the time of his retirement, he was considered one of the best all-time basketball players and was the third leading scorer in the NBA. Kobe Bryant recently opened MAMBA Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks to help train athletes in a variety of sports. “Sports Academy has perfected the art and science of athletic training, from elite players to young kids getting started. MAMBA Sports Academy is a natural expansion of my commitment to educating and empowering the next generation of kids through sports,” said Bryant in 2018. “As a basketball coach to young girls, my team trained at Sports Academy, which is when I first experienced the superior level of services and attention to detail their experts delivered to our team. At MAMBA Sports Academy, we will focus on offering a premium experience on proper training for young athletes, and infuse a little ‘Mamba Mentality’ into their programs.”

Kobe Bryant leaves behind his wife, Vanessa Bryant, and three daughters. His daughter, Gianna, who also died in the crash, was a rising young talent in basketball. Investigators are still looking into the cause of the accident, but it is strongly suspected that the foggy weather conditions that morning was a contributing factor.

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