- Basketball star and businessman Kobe Byrant died in helicopter crash on Sunday, 26 January
- The player died alongside his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, in the morning crash
- In his condolences message, Barack Obama described him as a true legend on the basketball courts
Former US president Barack Obama has sent his message of condolences to Kobe Bryant's family following the death of the basketball star and his daughter in a helicopter crash in California.
Bryant, 41, and his daughter, Gianna, were on their way to a youth basketball game in the player's private helicopter.
Obama joined several other people around the world in mourning the basketball star, saying he would pray for the family.
“Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents.
“Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day,” he tweeted.
Obama’s relationship with Bryant dates back years. Bryant visited Obama, a noted basketball fan, repeatedly in the White House, including in 2015 as he prepared to retire from the LA Lakers.
Bryant was famous for his incredible work ethic and love for basketball and was once the highest-paid player in the NBA.
The 41-year-old walked the path of his father Joe "Jellybean" Bryant, going into basketball immediately after finishing high school in Philadelphia.
He kicked off his basketball career in Italy where he grew up, before making a name for himself with the LA Lakers.
Currently, he was the second-highest-paid NBA player behind Kevin Garnett.
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