At the time of the devastating helicopter crash that took the lives of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others, the group was on its way to the former Los Angeles Lakers star's Mamba Sports Academy. Gianna Bryant and two of her teammates aboard were set to play in a basketball game at the facility.
In the days since the tragic accident, we've started to hear from those affected. Vanessa Bryant put out a long, heartfelt statement on Instagram on Wednesday night, in which she announced a new fund to help the other families impacted.
The Mamba Sports Academy is raising money for those families, and put out a statement of its own last night. It gives more details on those efforts, and pays tribute to Kobe Bryant and the other victims.
The full text of the release:
The Mamba Sports Academy family is devastated by the passing of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and the seven other people lost on Sunday. We send our love and thoughts to the Bryant family and to the families and friends of Alyssa, John, and Keri Altobelli; Payton and Sarah Chester; Christina Mauser; and Ara Zobayan.
Kobe Bryant was so much more than a partner in Mamba Sports Academy. He was a caring father, husband, coach, and champion of youth sports. We mourn not only one of the greatest athletes of all time, but an active and engaged member of our community, and a visionary whose impact was only beginning to be felt by society. He will be remembered most for the care he place and pleasure he took in educating the next generation, none more so than Gianna, Alyssa, Payton and their Mamba teammates.
Through the shared values of attention to detail, relentless pursuit of passions, and dedication to excellence, we remain committed to honoring Kobe's mission of inspiring the next generation of leaders in the world of sports and beyond.
We have established the MambaOnThree Fund to support the other families affected by this tragedy. To help those families, please visit MambaOnThree.org.
For those who are inspired to continue Kobe and Gianna's legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org.
Our thoughts continue to go out to all affected by Sunday's tragedy.