(Reuters) – Kobe Bryant, who won five NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, died at age 41 on Sunday in a helicopter crash in California. Here is biographical information on him and highlights from his career.
Born in Philadelphia in 1978, son of former NBA player Joe ‘Jellybean’ Bryant
Lived for eight years in Italy, where his father played professionally after his National Basketball Association career ended
On returning to the United States, Kobe Bryant attended Lower Merion High School outside Philadelphia and gained a reputation as one of the best high school players in the country
Chosen as the 13th overall pick by the Charlotte Hornets in the 1996 draft and immediately traded to the Los Angeles Lakers
A forward and shooting guard, he made his NBA debut in November 1996 at the age of 18 and played 20 consecutive seasons in the league.
Nicknamed the ‘Black Mamba,’ he won NBA championships with the Lakers in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2010
Won the NBA Most Valuable Player award in 2008, and was named to the NBA All-Star team 18 times
Won Olympic gold medals with the United States in 2008 and 2012
Retired in 2016 after playing 1,346 regular season games and averaging 25 points a game, twice leading the league in scoring
He earned more than $300 million on the court during his career.
His career points total of 33,643 is fourth on the all-time NBA list
Off the court, he married Vanessa Laine in 2001
In 2005, he reached a civil settlement with a woman who said he raped her in a Colorado hotel
Died on Jan. 26, 2020, when a helicopter in which he was a passenger crashed into a hillside in Calabasas, California
(Compiled by Andrew Both in North Carolina; Editing by Peter Cooney)
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