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On January 26, 2020, basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter and future basketball star, Gianna, were among nine passengers whose lives were taken in a deadly helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif.

The death shook the national sports world, but it hit hard in the University of Connecticut sports community. When the news broke of the Bryants’ deaths, the heartbreak was felt 3,000 miles away on the UConn campus.

Two years later, we remember those passengers, specifically one young star who had a special connection with the UConn women’s basketball team.