Guernsey's basketballers have gathered together to reflect on the horror helicopter smash which left nine people dead, including three teenage girls who were said to be future stars of the game.
NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and two of her friends, the parents of one girl, the mother of the other girl, a coach and a pilot were all killed when the helicopter they were in crashed in California on Sunday.
As I try to write this post, my mind is racing. I’m in disbelief and have been crying all morning over this devastating news that Kobe and his young daughter, Gigi have passed away in a helicopter crash. Cookie and I are heartbroken. pic.twitter.com/X2vF0M0a1u— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 26, 2020
Gianna and her basketball teammates Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester are all believed to have been 13-years-old.
Alyssa's parents John and Keri Altobello, Payton's mother Sarah Chester, the girls' basketball coach Christina Mauser and pilot Are Zobayan were all killed alongside the NBA star, as they headed to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, which Mr Bryant had been involved with.
He was reported to have been travelling there to coach a game, in a tournament called the Mamba Cup, which featured boys’ and girls’ teams.
Pictured: Paul Van Beek was among the island players at the training session, paying tribute to Kobe Bryant.
In light of the tragedy tributes have been paid to Mr Bryant and the other victims from across the world, with the Guernsey Basketball Association offering an outlet for anyone affected by the deaths locally.
Coach Adam Farish opened up a senior men's training session on Monday night to everyone, saying that "a lot of people have been stunned and saddened by the events so we would like to be there in some way."
Pictured: Island men's coach Adam Farish opened up a training session to anyone affected by the death of Kobe Bryant.
Mr Farish said as well as the usual players attending from the men's senior island squad, they were also joined by "some U21 players, some kids from the development league came, some guys who used to play but don’t anymore came and some guys we’d never met but just play on their own for fun came.
"We all worked out and played together. It was cool and for me at least it helped ease the sense of loss a little and created some meaning out of the tragedy."
Pictured: Some of the attendees of a training session in memory of Kobe Bryant wore branded clothing bearing his name, image or team number.
The Guernsey Basketball Association offers a number of training sessions and leagues including for senior men, women, and youth players.
Pictured top: Kobe Bryant, and inset - island players Daniel Marriot and Max Hamon. Local images provided by Adam Farish.
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