HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — News of the deaths of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in a helicopter crash sent shock waves through social media Sunday. Basketball fans right here in Connecticut mourned the death of Bryant on social media and at UConn women vs. team USA basketball game Monday.
As recently as last year, the LA Lakers legend was seen with his daughter, Gianna, 13, in Connecticut attending a UConn women’s basketball game. Gianna, too, was an avid fan and player of the game. Her dream was to play for the Huskies in college.
Around the world, friends, fans, former teammates, and NBA and WNBA players sent messages of mourning and love following the crash that killed Bryant Sunday.
At the UConn vs. team USA exhibition game Monday fans told News 8 they are “crushed” by the news of Bryant’s passing.
“It’s devastating,” one fan said. “Such a young man with a lovely daughter and how much they enjoyed the Huskies. It was great to see them when they came to the games.”
“Heart-wrenching,” another said. “As much as Kobe was a basketball player and a superstar, he was a father, and that’s what really hit home to me.”
The Basketball Hall of Fame located right over the Connecticut boarder in Springfield, MA called Bryant, “a nominee for this year’s #20HoopClass and an icon of the game.”
Rachel Banham, #1 for the Connecticut Sun WNBA team said of Bryant in a tweet, “RIP to my idol and his beautiful daughter GiGi.”
Scarlett Lewis, who lost her own son in the Sandy Hook shootings in 2012, wrote of Kobe, “He showed my family such love and support back in 2016 – forever grateful.”