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Family who died in Kobe Bryant helicopter crash honored at Angel Stadium

‘Angels are looking down on us’

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Utah Jazz forward Royce O’Neale (23) honors late NBA legend Kobe Bryant by wearing shoes with his image on them during the game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020.

Ivy Ceballo, Deseret News

A memorial service honoring three victims of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant and seven others was held Monday night, USA Today reports.

What happened at Angel Stadium?

  • The memorial service remembered Alyssa Altobelli and her two parents, John and Keri.
  • Bryant, who was a five-time NBA champion, coached Alyssa at Bryant’s Mamba Academy. The family joined Bryant and his daughter on a helicopter trip to the academy on Jan. 26. The helicopter crashed after flying through heavy fog, killing everyone on board.
  • More than 1,000 people visited Angel Stadium — where the Los Angeles Angels play — for the memorial service, according to USA Today.
  • Alyssa’s basketball highlights played during the ceremony. Some clips showed Bryant coaching the young girl, according to USA Today.
  • David Pierce, who played baseball with Alyssa’s father John Altobelli, said: “Angel Stadium could not be more appropriate because all of those angels are looking down on us.”

Special tribute for John Altobelli and family

  • JJ Altobelli, the 26-year-old son of John, spoke at the memorial, thanking everyone who came to honor their family, according to PopCulture.com.
  • JJ Altobelli: “This is pretty cool. Thank you guys so much for coming, it really means a lot to all of us. ... The amount of love and support we’ve received these past few weeks has been truly amazing. Each text, call, donation or act of kindness has not gone unnoticed.”

When is Kobe Bryant’s funeral?

  • Kobe Bryant will be honored on Feb. 24 at the Staples Center in a public memorial, which will honor all the victims of the helicopter crash, which I wrote about for the Deseret News.
  • The date matters. Kobe Bryant wore the No. 24 and his daughter, Gianna, wore the No. 2.
  • Kobe Bryant once explained the importance of the No. 24 since he started at No. 8 before making the switch.
  • According to Bleacher Report, Kobe Bryant said: “When I first came in at 8, is really trying to ‘plant your flag’ sort of thing. I got to prove that I belong here in this league. I’ve got to prove that I’m one of the best in this league. You’re going after them. It’s nonstop energy and aggressiveness and stuff. Then 24 is a growth from that. Physical attributes aren’t there the way they used to be, but the maturity level is greater. Marriage, kids. Start having a broader perspective being one of the older guys on the team now, as opposed to being the youngest. Things evolve.”