Kobe Bryant: University of Kentucky Mourns Tragic Death of Basketball Legend

The death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter, Gianna, and 7 others in a helicopter accident on Sunday elicited an outpouring of responses, including several with connections to the University of Kentucky.


Our heroes aren’t supposed to die.

They are supposed to live forever!

My dad cried when Mickey Mantle died.

My mom cried when Muhammad Ali died.

For the first time, I understand why they were moved to tears.

The tragic death of 9 people in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Sunday brought with it the terrible news that, for many, a hero had died.

Kobe Bryant was only 41 years old. His daughter, Gianna, was only 13. This helicopter crash claimed their lives, along with the lives of 7 others.

Kobe Bryant’s legacy is complicated, as were the emotions expressed regarding his untimely death. These sentiments were all over social media on Sunday.


LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 26: Memorial signage hangs near people mourning for former NBA star Kobe Bryant, who was killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, near Staples Center on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Nine people have been confirmed dead in the crash, among them Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)


Many connected to the University of Kentucky athletics expressed their complicated emotions, as well.

Tyrese Maxey:

This one hurts! RIP MAMBA


Immanuel Quickley:

Not Kobe…


Rex Chapman:


Rest, Mamba. Rest, Gianna.


Keion Brooks Jr. :

This can’t be real


Nate Sestina, over two tweets:

My favorite player ever…

Cannot be true


Jonny David:

I hope I wake up tomorrow and this was all just a terrible dream #RIPMamba


E.J. Montgomery:

This can’t be real…..I’m shook



LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 26: A general view of atmosphere during Steven Tyler’s Third Annual GRAMMY Awards Viewing Party to benefit Janie’s Fund presented by Live Nation at Raleigh Studios on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for Janie’s Fund)


Yesterday was the NFL Pro Bowl. The announcement of the helicopter crash came across the news wire as the game was being played. Athletes were interviewed on the sidelines expressing their grief and passing along prayers for the surviving family members.

Za’Darius Smith led his fellow NFC defensive Pro Bowlers in a Kobe Bryant tribute during his sack celebration in the game.

John Calipari expressed these sentiments in a Twitter thread:

We are all in a state of shock over the news of Kobe, his 13-year-old daughter and those who perished with them.

No word work on a day like today; only a prayer:

Lord, we all mourn the untimely death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter and the others who lost their lives today. May you grant eternal rest to them, O Lord; and let your light perpetually shine upon them. Amen.

Kobe Bryant and Gianna are survived by Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s wife, and Gianna’s mother, as well as Natalia, Bianca, and Capri, Kobe’s other daughters.