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Beloved Coaches, Rising Basketball Stars Also Killed When Kobe Bryant's Helicopter Went Down

CALABASAS (CBSLA) — The seven others killed when Kobe Bryant's helicopter crashed in Calabasas Sunday were beloved members of the Orange County community in their own right.

Bryant, 41, and his daughter, 13-year-old Gianna, had other coaches, teammates and parents with them in their helicopter when it crashed Sunday morning in the hills of Calabasas. None of the nine people on board survived the crash.

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(credit: CBS)

John Altobelli coached baseball at Orange Coast College for 28 years. As head coach, Altobelli led the team to win the 2019 state baseball championship and was named the National Coach of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association this offseason.

"John was a tremendous coach and an even better friend," OCC Athletics Director Jason Kehler said in a statement. "Beyond that, he was an amazing mentor to all of the students and athletes that he taught and coached. He treated them all like family and his impact will live on forever."

Altobelli's wife, Keri, and his youngest daughter, Alyssa, were also killed in the crash. Alyssa was a member of the AAU basketball team that Bryant coached.

"Unbelievable basketball player, kind of moving up the ranks a little bit," her uncle Tony Altobelli said.


Christina Mauser was also a coach at Harbor Day School, a private school in Corona del Mar. She helped Bryant coach the Mambas.

"We have so many families that were affected," Gabe Mauser, Christina's brother-in law, said. "My brother lost his wife. My nieces and nephew lost their mom, but there's other families that lost their wife and child and kids that lost their mom and dad and sibling. This is big."

A statement from Harbor Day school said they were devastated by the news and their first priority would be the well-being of their students.

"We are mourning the loss of members of our community," the statement said. "As news is publicized, we will ensure that our support team is made available to assist and counsel our students."

Sarah Chester and her daughter, Payton, were also killed in the crash. Payton was an eighth-grader at St. Margaret's School. Chester's brother remembered her on social media as a "the most amazing mother and sister."

The pilot was identified as Ara Zoboyan, a well-known pilot and teacher out of Huntington Beach.

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