By: Chris Nee | Noles247
January 27, 2020
Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton watches his team in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Wake Forest, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020 in Winston-Salem, N.C. (AP Photo/Lynn Hey)
NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, died on Sunday in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, California. The recently retired Bryant, 41, and his daughter, 13, were on the way to a youth basketball event when the helicopter crashed, killing them and seven others.
The tragic news had an impact far-and-wide, but was especially felt in the basketball world where Bryant had such a great influence.
“Any time you have a tragic accident, anything happen like that, your heart goes out to the family because nothing is worse than losing a loved one, but especially in an accident, a tragic accident like they have to endure,” FSU head basketball coach Leonard Hamilton said on Monday morning. “That level of pain is just almost unthinkable.
"Only thing you can do is offer his family your condolences and pray for them to recover the best they can because that pain lasts forever,” Hamilton added.
Hamilton was impressed by Bryant’s impact on and off the court, and where his life had gone since he retired from the NBA.
“He made such a great contribution to the game of basketball in such a classy way,” Hamilton continued. “He will be missed by a lot of people.
“I think he was devoting most of his time through the center that he had there in California, especially in bringing attention to girls in sports, because he had four daughters that participated in sports,” Hamilton said.
The crash happened as the helicopter was traveling from John Wayne Airport to Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks.
“Only thing we can say is Kobe, may he Rest In Peace,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton added that he and his players have and will talk about the tragic news. He believes Bryant’s influence on the game of basketball is felt in today’s players.
“He was such a hard-working guy, he set the example by which all basketball players should judge themselves by,” Hamilton said. “A guy who was a fierce competitor, who worked very hard at his craft, and he did it consistently over a long period of time.”