Statue of Kobe Bryant, daughter brought to helicopter crash site

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Statue of Kobe Bryant, daughter brought to helicopter crash site

A bronze sculpture of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna was brought to the helicopter crash site where they both perished to mark the second anniversary of their death

The 160-pound statue, created by sculptor Dan Medina, was set up on Wednesday — exactly two years after the sports legend and his 13-year-old daughter died with seven others after their helicopter crashed on a Calabasas hillside outside Los Angeles on a foggy morning. 

The sculpture shows the pair wearing basketball uniforms and looking fondly at each other while holding hands. The names of all nine victims who died in the crash are engraved on the statue’s pedestal along with an inscription of one of Bryant’s most well-known quotes: “Heroes come and go, but legends are forever.”

Fans of Bryant trekked 1.3 miles to the crash site Wednesday to see the statue and pay their respects to the Los Angeles Lakers great. 

The statue of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant along with the others the died in the crash in Calabasas, Ca.
The statue of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant along with the others who died in the crash in Calabasas, Calif.
Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images
A makeshift memorial is set near a bronze sculpture honoring former Los Angeles Lakers NBA basketball player Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant.
A makeshift memorial is set near a bronze sculpture honoring former Los Angeles Lakers NBA basketball player Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant.
AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu

“On this day, the second anniversary of the accident, I decided to bring it up from sunrise to sunset and create a bit of a healing process for fans,” said Medina.

“Today was special because I witnessed a lot of that. People would come up and they would leave with some sort of satisfaction.”

Nicole Szuch-Dinets lives close to the crash site and visited the statue Wednesday to pay homage to the victims. 

The bronze sculpture of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna
The bronze sculpture of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna was brought to the helicopter crash site where they both perished to mark the second anniversary of their death.
AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu

“I remember when this happened. We live close and we could hear the helicopter,” Szuch-Dinets said. 

“And then it popped up on my phone and we didn’t believe it. So I wanted to come out of respect and I thought this statue is beautiful.”

On January 26, 2020, Bryant, his daughter and seven others were killed when their helicopter crashed and burst into flames while en route to a youth basketball tournament. The 41-year-old’s death shocked the professional sports world and left his many fans and loved ones in mourning. 

Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna
Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna along with seven others were killed when the helicopter they were on exploded on January 26, 2020.
Elsa/Getty Images

On the anniversary of his death Wednesday, fans and teammates posted tributes to Bryant on social media. 

“I know many of you are out there and you miss him and still wish to see his brilliance on the court, and what he was doing as a dad,” said Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a six-time NBA champ who used to play for the Lakers. 

“It was wonderful the way he was coaching girls and getting them into the game. I hope all of you out there remember him the way you should and give your prayers to his wife and family.”

Kobe Bryant statue
Fans of Bryant trekked 1.3 miles to the crash site Wednesday to see the statue and pay their respects.
PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

Bryant left behind three other daughters and his wife, Vanessa.

With Post wires

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