kobe bryant

A sand sculpture by Indian artist Sudarsan Pattnaik, depicting American professional basketball player Kobe Bryant with the message 'we will miss you', is pictured at Puri beach, some 65 km away from Bhubaneswar on Jan. 27. Basketball legend Kobe Bryant's death in a helicopter crash along with his teenage daughter sparked an outpouring of grief across the worlds of sports and entertainment. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

MUMBAI (IANS) — NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash Jan. 26 in Southern California, was instrumental in inspiring kids to take up basketball in India among other places, said a former NBA India official.

Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter died in the helicopter crash sending shockwaves through the sporting world and beyond. He was 41.

"A true legend of the game, Kobe has been an inspiration to millions of sports fans across the world. He was a great ambassador for the game of basketball and has been instrumental in inspiring kids to play the game across the world, including in India," Yannick Colaco, Co-Founder of FanCode, said.

Colaco worked with NBA India as managing director for six years between 2013-2019.

"The Black Mamba, as he was fondly referred to, will always be remembered for his extraordinary talent and his relentless drive. His passing will leave a big void in the world of sports but he will forever live on in the hearts of his fans.

"We would like to offer our deepest condolences to Kobe Bryant's family and friends," he added.

The Los Angeles Lakers legend was a five-time NBA champion and 18-time All-Star.

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