US basketball legend Kobe Bryant has died in a helicopter crash in California, sparking an outpouring of grief from fans around the world.

Bryant, 41, and his daughter Gianna, 13, were among the nine killed when the aircraft came down in Calabasas. There were no survivors from Sunday’s crash which happened in foggy weather.

Bryant, a five-time NBA champion, played for the LA Lakers throughout his career and is considered one of the greatest players in the game’s history.

Tributes from celebrities, politicians and fellow sports stars have been pouring in, many expressing shock at his sudden death. Moments of silence have been observed at basketball games across the US.

Fans gathered at a makeshift memorial for Bryant in front of the Los Angeles Lakers’ stadium at the Staples Center on Sunday, laying flowers and basketballs in memory of the star. ‎

A wall covered in tributes to Kobe Bryant in ManilaImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionMourners left flowers and wrote tributes to Bryant on the wall of the new hall

Bryant was also remembered at the Grammy Awards which were held at the Staples Center.

“We’re all feeling crazy sadness right now,” said Grammys host Alicia Keys.

“Because earlier today Los Angeles, America and the whole wide world lost a hero. We’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built.”

The NBA issued a statement saying it was “devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna”.

“For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning,” it said.

There been tributes from as far away as the Philippines – where a new basketball centre named after Bryant opened just hours before his death – and Italy, where Bryant spent part of his childhood.

Luca Vecchi – mayor of Reggio Emilia, the town where Bryant lived – paid tribute to the star on Facebook, writing that the city will remember him forever.

Goodnight Kobe Bryant.


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