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Indianapolis basketball fans react to death of Kobe Bryant

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Two words were repeated over and over again when people were talking about the tragic helicopter crash that killed NBA superstar Kobe Bryant and eight other people: shock and disbelief.

News of Bryant’s passing is reminding people that tragedy can strike anyone and any time.

Basketball fans recalled exactly where they were when they heard the news that Kobe Bryant had died in a tragic helicopter crash.

“It really hurt us because we grew up looking up to him, Tracy McGrady, Allen Iverson, but he is definitely a fan favorite, man, it was really sad,” said local basketball fan Shawn Adams.

“It is a real shocker. He was a super player and it is a real shame,” said local basketball fan John Ott.

Fans say their feelings of grief and sadness for the Bryant family only grew when they heard that Bryant’s daughter, Gianna, was also one of the nine victims in the crash.

“Then to lose his daughter too, it is just very sad,” said Adams.

They said when the news first broke they couldn’t believe it. In fact, they said they hoped it wasn’t true.

“Kobe was one of the top five players of all time. He was right up there with Magic, Bird, Reggie Miller, and all those guys,” said Ott.

The tragic timing of his death came less than 24 hours after Lebron James passed Kobe for his spot on the NBA all-time scoring list.

“To hear the news it’s tragic because Lebron passed him last night. It’s like, wow. That happened, then I see he sent a tweet out. Then to not be here the next day. It’s like, it’s sad,” said local fan and basketball player William Sides.

Fans say Kobe was more to them than just a great player.

“To the game of basketball it means a lot. Kobe Bryant was a big inspiration to a lot of players,” said Sides. “It is like I have nothing but love and respect for him because he did so much for the game.”

This tragedy is serving as a harsh reminder to never take a moment for granted.

“You are never immune to anything. You never know what is going to happen so live your life to the fullest and enjoy your family,” said Ott.

As this story continues to develop, people keep sharing their support for the Bryant family, Kobe’s friends and former teammates as they live out this nightmare.