January 26th, 2020: The humanity behind the tragedy

“To feel affected by a death of someone you don’t know, is to realize that our reach, our impact, our energy extends beyond the circle we perceive to be our own.” – Keri Schreiter

The initial reactions have passed. The numbness has set in. The reality of the last 48 hours has gripped the globe. The loss of 9 individuals has stunned all of America, and much of the world too. It’s a chilling and heart-wrenching reminder that fate doesn’t care about status, names, or fame. This story is about more than a basketball player, and more than the numbers he put up. It’s far beyond the numbers, beyond objective facts. This is as human as it gets.

In Sunday morning’s tragedy, 9 individuals lost their lives as the helicopter plummeted to the ground, in flames, in the hillsides of Calabasas, California. 9 individuals, with their own circles of family and friends. Just like you and me.

The group of 8 passengers, not including the pilot, were on their way to a basketball tournament, set to be played at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, later that day.

3 of the passengers were young girls, ready to play in the day’s tournament. Among these were Kobe’s own daughter, 13-year old Gianna Bryant, whom was determined to carry on her father’s basketball legacy. Her teammates, Alyssa Altobelli, and Sarah Chester, were on the fateful flight with them.