The nine victims in the tragic helicopter crash that killed former NBA star Kobe Bryant and his young daughter Gianna also included three members of an esteemed college baseball coach’s family.
In addition, Christina Mauser, a girls’ basketball coach and wife of Tijuana Dogs vocalist Matt Mauser, died in the crash, along with an Orange County mother and daughter. The helicopter was headed to a girls’ basketball game that Gianna and two of her teammates were set to play in at a sports academy owned by Kobe Bryant.
John Altobelli, the head baseball coach at Orange Coast College, perished with his wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa, in the helicopter crash. Alyssa was one of Gianna’s basketball teammates. Another player on the team, Payton Chester, and Payton’s mother, Sarah Chester, also died. The pilot, Ara Zobayan, also died in the crash.
The helicopter slammed into a Calabasas, California hillside under conditions of heavy fog on the morning of January 26, 2020.
Here’s what you need to know about the victims identified so far, including names and photos:
He was one of professional basketball’s biggest stars – ever. Kobe Bryant played his entire career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He won five NBA titles with them. He retired in 2016 as the third all-time scorer in NBA history. He had 33,643 points.
He was born in Philadelphia and found immediate celebrity when he joined the Lakers right after high school graduation in 1996. Married to wife Vanessa (who wasn’t on the helicopter), he was a father of four daughters with her.
Kobe Bryant was just 41 years old.
Gianna ‘GiGi’ Bryant
Kobe Bryant’s daughter Gianna Bryant died with her dad in the tragic helicopter crash in Calabasas, he most wanted to keep his legacy alive.
According to reports, Bryant and his daughter were heading to the Mamba Academy for basketball practice in Thousand Oaks. ESPN reported that the father and daughter were going to a “travel basketball game.”
Like her dad, Gianna was a talented basketball player.
Gianna Bryant was just 13 years old.
The 38-year-old mother loved helping coach basketball with Kobe’s team for girls.
Christina’s husband, Matt Mauser, confirmed her sad death on Facebook, writing, “My kids and I are devastated. We lost our beautiful wife and mom today in a helicopter crash. Please respect our privacy. Thank you for all the well wishes they mean so much.”
John, Keri & Alyssa Altobelli
The website for Orange Coast College Pirate Athletics says that John Altobelli was the school’s head baseball coach. He was a former University of Houston baseball player. Orange Coast College is a community college in Costa Mesa, California.
The Houston Chronicle reported that Altobelli’s daughter was a player on Bryant’s basketball team alongside his daughter Gianna.
It was one of their daughter’s Alyssa who perished with her parents in the crash.
Ara Zobayan, 50, was an experienced pilot who was flying the helicopter for the company that owned it, Island Express Helicopters when it crashed.
Payton Chester & Sarah Chester
Payton Chester was one of Gianna Bryant’s teammates on the Mamba Sports Academy girls basketball team, according to her family. She died in the crash along with her mother, Sarah Chester.