Kobe Bryant (Photo/Virat Kohli Instagram)

New Delhi [India], Jan 27 : India skipper Virat Kohli condoled the demise of American basketball legend Kobe Bryant and said he was “absolutely devastated to hear the news”.

Taking to Instagram, Kohli said that in his childhood he used to get up early to watch Bryant play.

“Absolutely devastated to hear this news today. So many childhood memories of waking up early and watching this magician doing things on the court that I would be mesmerized by. Life is so unpredictable and fickle. His daughter Gianna passed away too in the crash. I am absolutely Heartbroken. Rest in peace. Strength and condolences to the family,” Kohli wrote.

Bryant and his 13-year old daughter Gianna Maria Onore Bryant were among the nine people killed when a helicopter they were travelling in crashed amid foggy conditions and burst into flames in the hills above Calabasas, local media reported.

“Sad day for the sporting world today. One of the greats of the game gone to too soon. Rest in peace Kobe Bryant and his little daughter Gianna and the other victims,” Rohit Sharma wrote on Instagram.

“Rest in peace Kobe and his daughter and also the victims of the helicopter crash. Devastated,” Shreyas Iyer tweeted.

Taking to Twitter Jaspirt Bumrah wrote, “Gone too soon. Rest in peace legend. #KobeBryant.”

Bryant, 41, and his daughter were expected at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks for a basketball game scheduled for Sunday afternoon (local time), CNN reported.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told reporters that as per a manifest, nine people — including the pilot — were on board the helicopter that crashed on a hillside.

No one survived the crash, Los Angeles County Fire Department Chief Daryl Osby said. Officials did not reveal the identity of the victims.

LA County Fire Department Capt. Tony Imbrenda said that they did not immediately have any information as to whether the helicopter radioed a distress signal.

“Individuals that saw the aircraft said it was coming down at a fairly significant rate of speed and impacted the ground on the hillside,” he told reporters.

41-year-old Bryant had won five National Basketball Association (NBA) championships in his 20-year-long career while playing for Los Angeles Lakers.


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