Death of Kobe Bryant leaves local Quad City athletes ‘shocked’

Local News

UPDATE: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released an initial report on the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant, and 7 others last month.

In part, NTSB says that there were no signs of engine failure and they are likely still months away from reaching a final conclusion. The incident is still considered to be under investigation.

We’ve attached their full report below.

EARLIER: 41-year-old NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, along with 7 others died in a helicopter crash in California on Sunday.

Officials say conditions in that region of Southern California were more foggy than usual, but the helicopter was still approved to take off and land at it’s destination.

The chopper was on its way to a basketball tournament for Gianna and a teammate that was also in the helicopter.

Kobe Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers for his entire 20 year career. When he retired from the NBA in 2016 he was the third highest total points scorer in NBA history. He held that position until current Los Angeles Laker LeBron James passed that total, the night before Bryant died.

People at Augustana’s PepsiCo Recreational Center on Sunday afternoon were shaken at the news of the 9 lives lost in the crash.

“I was literally shocked,” said Gaurav Patwal, Augustana sophomore. “Like that’s fake…I couldn’t believe it happened.”

His twin brother, Saurabh Patwal, was with him when he received the news, and was stunned to hear the NBA legend had died. “I think he’s one of the greatest of all time,” said Patwal. “He’s like someone who did everything for the game. Like Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain. He deserves to be mentioned with the all-time greats.”

Augustana junior Bradley Moier was taken back by the news, and needed a moment to compose himself. “I just got to the gym and one of my friends said ‘Kobe Bryant died.’ It blew me away, I wasn’t ready for it,” said Moier. “I just sat down for a minute. The guy was 41. He just retired. It blew me away.”

Along with Kobe and Gianna Bryant, seven others were killed in the accident.

John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Ara Zobayan, and Sarah and Payton Chester were on board with the Bryant’s.

The NTSB is still investigating the crash.

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