Kobe Bryant Crash Victims Name, Bio
The nine victims in the tragic helicopter crash that killed former NBA star Kobe Bryant and his young daughter Gianna also included three members of an esteemed college baseball coach’s family. In addition, Christina Mauser, a girls’ basketball coach and wife of Tijuana Dogs vocalist Matt Mauser, died in the crash, along with an Orange County mother and daughter. The helicopter was headed to a girls’ basketball game that Gianna and two of her teammates were set to play in at a sports academy owned by Kobe Bryant.
1- Kobe Bryant Bio
Kobe Bryant was one of professional basketball’s biggest stars – ever. Kobe Bryant played his entire career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He won five NBA titles with them. He retired in 2016 as the third all-time scorer in NBA history. He had 33,643 points.
He was born in Philadelphia and found immediate celebrity when he joined the Lakers right after high school graduation in 1996. Married to wife Vanessa (who wasn’t on the helicopter), he was a father of four daughters with her.
“My friend, a legend, husband, father, son, brother, Oscar winner and greatest Laker of all-time is gone. It’s hard to accept. Kobe was a leader of our game, a mentor to both male and female players,” wrote Magic Johnson, as the accolades for Kobe poured in.
“I am in shock over the tragic news of Kobe’s and Gianna’s passing,” Michael Jordan said in a statement. “Words can’t describe the pain I’m feeling.”
Kobe Bryant was just 41 years old.
2- Gianna Bryant Bio
Kobe Bryant’s daughter Gianna Bryant died with her dad in the tragic helicopter crash in Calabasas, according to TMZ Sports. Gianna was a teenage basketball player who aspired to be in the WNBA. Her dad once said she most wanted to keep his legacy alive.
According to TMZ, Bryant and his daughter were heading to the Mamba Academy for basketball practice in Thousand Oaks. ESPN reported that the father and daughter were going to a “travel basketball game.”
Kobe spoke to SLAM about coaching Gianna, who was known as Gigi. The site reported in March 2019 that Gianna and her AAU team “practice under his tutelage five times a week.”
3- Christina Mauser Bio
Christina Mauser was the girls’ basketball coach. She was also killed. Christina’s husband, Matt Mauser, confirmed her sad death on Facebook, writing, “My kids and I are devastated. We lost our beautiful wife and mom today in a helicopter crash. Please respect our privacy. Thank you for all the well wishes they mean so much.” On Facebook, Matt defines himself as a “Singer/Song Writer/Entertainer/Dad.”
4- John, Keri & Alyssa Altobelli Bio
John Altobelli was the school’s head baseball coach. He was a former University of Houston baseball player. Orange Coast College is a community college in Costa Mesa, California.
The Houston Chronicle reported that Altobelli’s daughter was a player on Bryant’s basketball team alongside his daughter Gianna.
Altobelli was a fixture at his college. According to the school’s website, he was the “longest-tenured baseball coach in school history,” and was entering his 28th season as the head coach of the baseball program.
“John and his wife, Keri, along with daughters Alexis and Alyssa reside in Newport Beach,” says the bio. It was Alyssa who perished with her parents in the crash.
Kobe Bryant once shared a video of Alyssa on Instagram, writing, “I hate seeing my #teammamba girls play against each other. This is GREAT defence by our mamba pg Alyssa Altobelli and a familiar-looking fade by our 2gd the #Mambacita.”
5- Ara Zobayan Bio
Ara Zobayan was a 50 years old experienced pilot who was flying the helicopter for the company that owned it, Island Express Helicopters when it crashed. Zobayan lived in Huntington Beach.
He was identified by friends. “He taught aspiring heli pilots to fly and was very much loved in the aviation community.
They wrote ‘rest easy as you take your final flight to heaven.’” Pascucci, a pilot herself, wrote on Twitter, “Also, according to records, Ara was instrument rated. That means he was rated to fly in fog/clouds. … He did. He got permission to use special VFR flight rules to help him get around the fog. He was an excellent pilot according to friends. It’s too early to know if fog was the determining factor.”
A friend, Bella, wrote on Twitter, “Rest In Peace Ara. One of the sweetest pilots I’ve ever have had the pleasure to meet and converse with while working in the aviation business. Rest easy Kobe…Working for the aviation business has allowed me to meet some pretty amazing people and pilots. Ara was definitely one of them. Always so nice, talkative and especially attentive when it came to Kobe and his family. I’m heartbroken.
Payton Chester was one of Gianna Bryant’s teammates on the Mamba Sports Academy girls basketball team, according to her family. She died in the crash along with her mother, Sarah Chester. Payton’s brother, Riley Chester, wrote on Instagram, “Rest In Peace to the most amazing Mother and sister. I love you Pay Pay and Mom RIP.”
Hayden Chester, said on Instagram, “The world lost two of the most beautiful women today. May your souls rest in piece. I love you.”
Payton Chester was a student at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School. Sarah Chester was killed in the crash along with her daughter, Payton Chester. They were headed to Payton’s basketball game together. Payton Chester was previously a student at Harbor View Elementary School.