Basketball legend Kobe Bryant has died aged 41 in a helicopter crash in California.
The NBA legend enjoyed a glittering 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers during his prime.
Bryant was travelling in his private helicopter when it crashed in Calabasas on Sunday morning at around 10am local time.
The chopper is said to have caught fire after going down, as emergency services battled in vain to save those on board.
Five people have been confirmed dead as a result of the crash, which is now under investigation.
Bryant’s wife Vanessa is not believed to have been involved in the accident.
Bryant regularly used his Sikorsky S-76 helicopter to travel to and from matches at the Staples Center for years.
The son of former NBA player Joe Bryant, he started his career for the Lakers in 1996 after becoming the first guard to be drafted straight out of high school by the Hornets, who immediately traded him.
He grew up in Philadelphia, and had attended Lower Merion High School in the state of Pennsylvania.
There he developed a reputation as a leading star of the future, and was soon making headlines as a rookie in the NBA.
Bryant won the 1997 Slam Dunk contest – the youngest person ever to do so, and a record he holds to this day, and was named an All-Star in just his second season.
Forming a formidable relationship with Shaquille O’Neal on the court, Bryant helped the Lakers win three back-to-back NBA championships from 2000-2002.