LOS ANGELES — A former University of Houston baseball player, his wife and the couple's daughter were among the victims killed in the Los Angeles helicopter crash that also claimed the life of NBA legend Kobe Bryant.
The crash happened about 10 a.m. Sunday in Calabsas, Calif. just outside of Los Angeles, according to investigators. Bryant's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, was on the helicopter along with seven other. The group was headed to a basketball game, in which Bryant was set to coach.
Former UH baseball player and coach John Altobelli was on board with his wife, Keri, and their daughter, Alyssa. Altobelli was serving as the head baseball coach for Orange Coast College. He worked at Orange Coast College for 27 years.
Altobelli had more than 700 wins in his career and four state championships.
"I am devastated to hear the tragic news that one of our former players and dear friend of mine, John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and his daughter, Alyssa, have passed. John was a huge supporter of the Cougars and numerous players from orange coast college have played for us through the years," current UH baseball head coach Todd Whitting said in a statement.
John was a 2-year letterwinner from 1984 to 1985 & served as an assistant coach in 1987.
May we also uplift his family in prayers. pic.twitter.com/DllKR0wp41
— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) January 27, 2020
There were no survivors among the nine passengers.
Bryant spent his entire career with the Los Angeles Lakers, from 1996 to 2016. Outside the Staples Center in LA there was a sea of purple and gold #24 jerseys
honoring the life of the two-time NBA finals MVP, five-time NBA champion and 18-time NBA All-star.
But most importantly, a husband and father of four girls.
Houston City Hall and the Montrose bridges were lit up in the legendary Lakers' colors Sunday night in honor of Bryant. Mayor Sylvester Turner extended his condolences.
"Kobe Bryant truly made an impact, not only on the basketball court, but off the court and across other sports," Turner said.
Still can’t comprehend or believe it.
Devastating. Truly devastating.
Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/9aHNAPIEeO
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) January 26, 2020
Of course, Houston sports stars also reacted to Bryant's death. Texans player JJ Watt took to Twitter expressing his shock and sorrow. Watt wrote he still can't comprehend or believe it, and it's truly devastating.
Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles shared an image of herself with Bryant, she wrote "Rest in Peace Kobe."