Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, visited a Catholic service at the Our Lady Queen of Angels in Newport Beach on the morning on the day that they perished unexpectedly, as their helicopter crashed and the tragedy took away the lives of 9 people in total.
The five-time NBA champion and his child were present for the Catholic Mass at 7 a.m. at the local church and received Communion before heading on their way to the teen’s basketball coaching camp that was going to take place at the Mamba Sports Academy later during the day.
Shortly after leaving the grounds of the religious place, Kobe and Gigi went to the John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, where they boarded the helicopter, model Sikorsky S-76B that was piloted by Ara Zobyan at around 9 a.m.
Following the tragic accident that occurred, bishop Timothy Freyer, who reportedly held services in the presence of Kobe in the past, opened up and talked about his memories of the legendary basketball player.
According to Freyer, Bryant was a devoted Catholic who valued his faith and loved his family.
The bishop also stated that whenever the NBA legend would come to the church, he would always try to escape from the attention of other people, so he would sit in the back.
Meanwhile, a representative of the church confirmed that Kobe was indeed present to the morning service on Sunday, but he took off shortly before its end, to avoid unnecessary attention.
The catastrophic event occurred around 9:47 a.m. when the aircraft transporting Bryant and the others crashed into one of the hills near Calabasas.
Kobe’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, shared an emotional message on social media, which prompted millions of people to offer her love and prayers.
One supporter of the basketball icon stated: “Losing your husband and daughter and having to raise a newborn baby? Lord, please grant Vanessa Bryant’s strength. Please 💔🙏🏾. I pray she will do great and will continue to be great at it😊 she’s the glue that will hold them together, she’s got this😊😊😊😊😊.”
This sports fan revealed: “My heart is aching for Vanessa and the girls. I cannot imagine what they are going through and what they must be feeling. The hurt of this loss will never go away, but I only pray that things will become a little easier for them as time goes on. I hope they rest with the knowledge that Kobe and Gianna left this world, knowing they were so loved and cared for. Rest In Peace ❤️”
Another follower deducted: “He had so… much… love! So much. I’m glad he had that, experienced it, didn’t waste a second & took it all in, gave so much out, and shared so much of his love for them with the world! A family is not promised to everyone. So he had the greatest gift of all! 💫 …And he knew it.”
Kobe, who had a net worth of $600 million, is seen by many as the last great basketball player with a style similar to Michael Jordan.