first_imgBryant’s sudden death at age 41 touched off an outpouring of grief for a star whose celebrity transcended basketball.The passengers were on their way to a basketball game when the chopper went down. The helicopter was flying in foggy conditions considered dangerous enough that local police agencies grounded their choppers.The helicopter’s flight path shows it going from Orange County to the San Fernando Valley and then hovering over the Glendale area as it waited for clearance to travel through the Valley to Calabasas. The tracking ends at the crash site in Calabasas.In addition to the NBA legend and his daughter, the victims included a highly-regarded baseball coach and three young athletes. NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others killed Sunday when their helicopter crashed into a hillside in dense fog in Calabassas, California have been identified. Here is a look at the nine people who died in the crash:Kobe Bryant and his 13-year old daughter Gianna were among those killed.Gianna — often called “Gigi” — was the second oldest of Bryant’s four daughters. Bryant had coached Gianna’s AAU basketball team out of his Mamba Sports Academy training facility in Thousand Oaks for the past two years.John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli and Alyssa Altobelli: John Altobelli was the head baseball coach at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa. His wife Keri and their daughter Alyssa were also on board.CBS Boston reports Altobelli was a former coach of the Brewster Whitecaps on Cape Cod. Altobelli also managed players who eventually made the big leagues, including Yankees slugger Aaron judge.Christina MauserThe husband of Christina Mauser posted on Facebook that she died in the helicopter crash. Mauser was a basketball coach at Harbor Day School in Newport Beach, where Kobe’s daughter attended school. “My kids and I are devastated. We lost our beautiful wife and mom today in a helicopter crash,” Matt Mauser wrote on Facebook. “Please respect our privacy. Thank you for all the well wishes they mean so much.”Sarah Chester and Payton ChesterSarah Chester and her middle school aged daughter Payton were on also on board.The helicopter was piloted by Ara Zobayan. According to the FAA, he received his commercial pilot certificate in 2007.Friends have identified the pilot as Ara Zobayan. 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.”@KTLA #KobeBryant— Christina Pascucci (@ChristinaKTLA) January 27, 2020last_img read more

first_imgAll Players OPTING out in all sports PLEASE BELIEVE the game will go on without u. This is a business & don’t u EVER forget that. There’s NO ONE that’s bigger than the game itself. Only the ref,umps & officials are that important that u can’t play without them. NOT YOU! #Truth— Deion Sanders (@DeionSanders) August 7, 2020MORE: List of NFL opt-outsA wave of NFL opt-outs has been announced over the past week, which likely prompted Sanders’ comment. He works as a pundit for the league-owned NFL Network. Packers receiver Devin Funchess, Patriots safety Patrick Chung and Giants tackle Nate Solder are among those who won’t play in 2020 because of the pandemic.People on Twitter, including players, piled on to let Sanders know what they thought of his take:Would the players that actually thought the game would stop because they opted out for health concerns please stand up? …. smh #NobodyThoughtThat— Benjamin Watson (@BenjaminSWatson) August 7, 2020Corny.— Chris Hairston (@CHairston75) August 7,— ☘💚VOTE – Across Broken Glass☘️💚 (@QueenLambright7) August 7,— Theo Melillo (@TheoMelillo) August 7, 2020What a clueless statement. They’re not opting out because they think they’re “bigger than the game itself” – they’re opting out because they don’t want to sacrifice their health and safety and that of their family. Can’t play if your dead or debilitatingly ill.— Ryan J. Neel (@Ryzer71) August 7, 2020They played a month with replacement officials … And yes, the NFL will continue on and I’m sure the players opting out understand someone could take their roster spot in their absence. But they value their health this season over the chance of being replaced in 2021— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) August 7, 2020Nothing like an analyst for a league-owned network missing the point this much!— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) August 7, 2020 Deion Sanders typed into Twitter his opinion about athletes opting out of sports around the U.S. amid the COVID-19 pandemic and hit send, somehow thinking it would resonate with his 1.1 million followers.He must not have realized how it sounded for an NFL employee to call out players for being worried enough about their health and the health of their families to not play the game they love. His perspective that individuals don’t matter in sports is strange considering he made his name as “Prime Time” and “Neon Deion” — an infamously individualistic character who thrived in his own spotlight and added irreplaceable flair to the field. “All Players OPTING out in all sports PLEASE BELIEVE the game will go on without u,” Sanders wrote. “This is a business & don’t u EVER forget that. There’s NO ONE that’s bigger than the game itself. Only the ref,umps & officials are that important that u can’t play without them. NOT YOU! #Truth”last_img read more