Community gathers near Kobe Bryant's family home in Newport Beach to mourn NBA star's death

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Dozens gathered to pay tribute and mourn the death of basketball icon Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter outside the family's home in Newport Beach Sunday evening.

Neighbors described Bryant as a friendly and beloved member of the community, often seen out with family members.

One neighbor said as basketball lost an icon, Newport Beach lost a neighbor and a friend.

Nine people were killed when a helicopter crashed into rough terrain in Calabasas Sunday morning. The crash killed Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant, two coaches at schools in Orange County, the wife and daughter of one of those coaches, the pilot, and two other individuals who have not yet been publicly identified.

Calabasas helicopter crash: What we know about all 9 victims

Millions of basketball fans around the world were devastated by the news of Bryant's death. In Los Angeles, fans in Lakers jerseys flocked to sites such as Staples Center, the Lakers training facility in El Segundo and the site of the crash in Calabasas.

The outpouring of grief continued well into the night at Staples Center. One fan interviewed by Eyewitness News expressed his deep appreciation for Bryant.

"Kobe just meant the world to me and all of us here in LA, growing up just idolizing somebody who dedicates their grind to their craft," he said.

Impromptu memorials with candles and flowers were created by fans near the arena.

Bryant was one of the league's most prolific scorers who won two NBA Finals MVP awards and one NBA regular-season MVP in 2008. The 41-year-old Bryant spent his entire professional basketball career with the Los Angeles Lakers and won five championships.
Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.