Former President Barack Obama joined the multitude of fans celebrating the life of basketball legend Kobe Bryant during the 2020 NBA All-Star weekend in Chicago.
Obama, 58, is a renowned basketball junkie who often played games against former athletes and celebrities during his eight-year tenure in the White house. He spoke about the devastating loss of the Black Mamba and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna along with seven other passengers in a helicopter crash in suburban Los Angeles on Jan. 26.
Speaking at the NBA All-Star weekend brunch that was hosted by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Obama said he is really feeling the loss of Bryant and said that “nothing is more heartbreaking” than the loss of a husband and daughter in this fashion.
“That loss is something that I know many are still grappling with, particularly Kobe because he was with his daughter and those families and those children,” he said, pausing to apparently remain composed. “And those of us who have had the joy and privilege of being parents, and taking our kids to ball games, and rooting for our children, and then seeing our dreams and hopes passed on to them – nothing is more heartbreaking.”
Obama posted a message on Twitter following the crash in Calabasas, California, last month, saying: “Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day.”
View the former president’s remarks about the beloved b-ball icon below: