Who is Alyssa Altobelli? Gianna Bryant's friend and other victims of Kobe Bryant helicopter crash

Caption : Kobe Bryant Gianna

Alyssa Altobelli was one of the victims that died along with Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, on January 26. Altobelli was a close friend of Gianna and her basketball teammate. Altobelli's parents, John and Keri, are among the deceased. Here are the other victims of the tragic Kobe Bryant helicopter crash.

Alyssa Altobelli was Gianna's teammate

Alyssa Altobelli was one of Gianna Bryant's teammates on the Los Angeles Lady Mambas Team at Mamba Sports Academy, where she was coached by Kobe. Alyssa frequently traveled with the Bryant to practices and games. 

Alyssa's parents, John and Keri Altobelli, also in the crash

Alyssa Altobelli

All nine passengers on board the helicopter were confirmed to have died including Alyssa Altobelli and her parents, John and Keri Altobelli. The Altobelli family were flying with the Bryants and others to Thousand Oaks from Orange County, where they live. 

John Altobelli, popularly known as Coach Alto, was the head baseball coach of Pirate Athletics at Orange Coast College, where he worked for 27 years. According to the statement issued by the school, John led his team to four state championships. In 2019, he was named the American Baseball Coaches Association Coach of the Year. He was 56 years old.

Alyssa is survived by her two siblings; sister Alexis and brother J.J. Kobe once gave Alyssa a shout out on Instagram, writing, "I hate seeing my #teammamba girls play against each other. This is GREAT defense by our mamba pg Alyssa Altobelli and a familiar looking fade by our 2gd the #Mambacita.”

Christina Mauser 

Christina Mauser

Christina Mauser, a coach and a mother from Orange County, also lost her life in the devastating crash. Mauser was an assistant girls basketball coach at Harbor Day School in Corona del Mar, California. 

Kobe had chosen Mauser to coach Gianna at Mamba Academy. Mauser is survived by her husband, Matt Mauser, and their three children. "She was extraordinary. She was incredibly witty, funny, funny like nobody you've ever met," Matt said during an interview on the TODAY show.

Sarah Chester and daughter Payton

Sarah and Payton Chester

Mother-daughter duo, Sarah Chester and Payton Chester, were among the nine passengers aboard the 1991 Sikorsky S-76B chopper. Sarah, 45, and her 13 year old daughter were also from Orange County.

“She’s the one that everybody counted on. She was there for everyone. She was everything to her family, to our family. Anytime I needed anything, she was the person I went to," said Sarah's brother Andy George. 

Payton loved basketball and briefly played on Kobe's Mamba team, during which she and her mother got to the Bryants well. Payton was in eighth grade at St. Margaret's Episcopal School. 

The Chester family released this statement on January 27, "Payton had a smile and personality that would light any room, and a passion for the game of basketball.  She found joy on any court and loved all of her teammates and coaches. Sarah was full of life and the glue of our family.  She was a tireless force in support of her family."

The pilot - Ara Zobayan

Ara Zobayan

Ara Zobayan has been identified as the pilot of the helicopter. Zobayan was an instrument-certified pilot and a certified flight instructor. He earned his commercial pilot's license in 2007. 

According to CNN, his neighbors described Zobayan as affable, mild-mannered, and always pleasant. 

The helicopter was headed to Kobe's Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, where Kobe and Gianna were expected to attend a basketball game. Alyssa Altobelli and her parents, John and Keri, were known to often travel with the Bryants to games. Our deepest condolences to the Bryant family, the Altobelli family and all the other affected families.

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