Barack Obama issues statement on the tragic death of Kobe Bryant

President Barack Obama, right, and Kobe Bryant, left, during a ceremony honoring the 2009 NBA champions, the Los Angeles Lakers, at the White House on Jan. 25, 2010.

Former President Barack Obama paid his respects to Kobe Bryant’s family after news of Bryant’s shocking death.

The former Los Angeles Laker died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, alongside eight others on board. Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, was also among those that didn’t make it.

“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,” Obama wrote. “Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day.” 

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