On this day last year, five-time NBA champion and superstar Kobe Bryant, and his daughter Gianna or ‘GiGi’ tragically died in a helicopter crash on route to a game in the Los Angeles suburbs.
The crash also claimed several others onboard, including the pilot.
Their deaths were an instant shock and have made a tremendous impact on the basketball and sports realm.
In the aftermath of the crash, numerous tributes, murals and memorials happened across the country with fans donning the Lakers jerseys with Bryant’s name and number on them along with balloons and flowers being dropped off around the Staples Center in Los Angeles. In New York, the Empire State Building lit up in Laker purple and gold in Bryant’s honor.
Just a month after the crash, a memorial service was held for the Bryants and the seven other victims. Kobe’s wife and Gianna’s mother Vanessa Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Michael Jordan, and Beyoncé were among those who took part in the service.
Later in last season’s playoffs during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Lakers went on to win their 17th NBA Championship, the team dedicated their title in Kobe and GiGi’s honor.
Even in 2021, it is still unbelievable that all onboard (including the Bryants) the helicopter is gone. Our thoughts and prayers sent to those families who lost those victims in the crash last year.