Statue of Kobe, Gianna Unveiled at Crash Site

Miniature version of a larger work placed temporarily to honor 2nd death anniversary
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2022 9:01 AM CST
Statue of Kobe, Gianna Unveiled at Crash Site
Artist Dan Medina stands next to his work, a bronze sculpture honoring former Los Angeles Lakers NBA basketball player Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant, and the names of those who died, at the site of a 2020 helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif, on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

Two years to the day after a helicopter crash killed nine people, a statue was unveiled of its two most prominent victims, NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, at the site of the tragedy in Calabasas, Calif., per CNN. The 160-pound bronze statue shows Bryant in his Los Angeles Lakers uniform, looking down at Gianna with an arm placed on her shoulder. Gianna's figure looks up at her dad, one hand touching his own on her shoulder, the other holding a basketball at her side. She also appears in a basketball uniform. The statue was placed at 4am Wednesday in the hills where the helicopter crashed amid fog in 2020, per ESPN.

The names of the seven other crash victims—pilot Ara Zobayan; Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli; his wife, Keri; their daughter Alyssa, who was Gianna's teammate on the Mamba Sports Academy's AAU girls basketball team; Christina Mauser, who helped coach the team; parent Sarah Chester; and her daughter Payton, also a team member—are inscribed on a plaque on the base of the statue, sculpted by Dan Medina. Medina told KABC that the statue—a miniature version of a 7-foot-tall one he hopes to place in downtown Los Angeles—was only to remain at the crash site until Wednesday night. (Get a peek at the full-size sculpture here and here.)

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