Kobe Bryant's Daughter Gianna Dies in Helicopter Crash

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Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, 41, died in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning in California. Bryant's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, was also on board, TMZ and ESPN reported. 

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Bryant was traveling to a basketball game with Gianna and another player and parent.

An internal memo has circulated among NBA employees confirming Gianna's death, according to Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix.

TMZ was the first to report that Bryant was among those on the helicopter when it went down in the hills of Calabasas and a fire broke out. The crash occurred before 10 a.m. PT, and the fire made it difficult for firefighters and emergency personnel to get to the aircraft, according to the Los Angeles Times.

LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told reporters that nine people were on board the aircraft—the pilot plus eight people. “It is entirely inappropriate right now to identify anyone by name,” Villanueva said.

Gianna is one of Bryant's four daughters with his wife, Vanessa. Their youngest daughter, Capri, was born in July.

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Kobe and Gianna were seen at various WNBA and NBA games together in recent years. 

In 2018, Kobe said she was "hellbent" on attending and playing for UConn.

Kobe Bryant was an 18-time All-Star and 11-time All-NBA first-teamer, who led the Lakers to five NBA championships and scored 33,643 points in his 20-year NBA career. He retired after the 2015-16 season, having spent his entire career with the Lakers. The franchise retired his No. 8 and No. 24 jersey numbers in December 2017.

He was 17 years old when he was selected with the 13th pick in the 1996 NBA draft by the Charlotte Hornets before being traded to the Lakers. He went on to become the Lakers' franchise leader in points, games played, three-pointers, steals and free throws.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has scheduled a news conference near the scene at 5 p.m. ET.

This post will be updated with more information as the news develops.

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