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Gigi Bryant’s Mamba academy mates attend Lakers’ tribute game

Los Angeles, Feb 1 (IANS) Several members of Kobe Bryant’s daughter Gianna’s basketball team attended a Los Angeles Lakers game to pay their respects to the NBA icon and all others killed in the January 26 helicopter crash.

Gianna “Gigi” Bryant played for one of Kobe’s Mamba Sports Academy teams, as did two other victims lost in the tragedy.

Payton Chester, 13, Alyssa Altobelli, 13, and their coach, Christina Mauser, were among the nine individuals who died while en route to a basketball tournament held at the Mamba Sports Academy facility in Thousand Oaks, Californis, alomng with Kobe and Gigi. Payton’s mother, Sarah Chester, and both of Alyssa’s parents, Keri and John Altobelli, as well as the pilot, Ara Zobayan, all died.

Friday’s match marks the first Lakers game since Kobe and Gianna’s deaths, which shocked the sports world and humanity at large. Hours ahead of the match, the Mamba Sports Academy announced its doors were open once again, eonline.com reported.

“Our hearts are heavy. Our head is heavy. It is our duty, though, to continue our mission-Kobe’s mission- to help the next generation of athletes and leaders achieve their full potential. And, with your help, we’re going to do just that,” an Instagram post read.

In the days after Kobe’s death, wife Vanessa Bryant and the Mamba Sports Academy announced the formation of the MambaOnThree Fund to benefit the other families impacted by the crash.

Kobe co-founded the Mamba Sports Academy in 2018.

–IANS

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