REMEMBERING JOHN ALTOBELLI

Family and friends remember UH baseball alum killed in California crash

Photo courtesy of ABC13/Orange Coast College

This article originally appeared on CultureMap.

A University of Houston alum was with basketball legend Kobe Bryant and seven others when their helicopter crashed near Los Angeles and killed all nine people on board, multiple sources told ABC News and ESPN.

Orange Coast College confirmed long-time head baseball coach John Altobelli was one of the victims in the deadly helicopter crash.

Sources told ESPN the retired NBA star and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among the victims in the Sunday, January 26 morning crash. The Los Angeles Sheriff said nine people were on board, including the pilot, but would not release the identities of the victims.

The University of Houston, where Altobelli graduated from and was once assistant coach, released a statement confirming that Altobelli's wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa, were also among the victims.

ABC13 spoke with John's younger brother, Tony, on the evening of January 26.

"I think we're all just kind of hurting right now. We're all kind of shell shocked," Tony said. "I know it hasn't hit me 100 percent yet, that's why I think I can still talk to you right now."

Local coach, Russell Stockton, played under Altobelli and was his friend. Stockton remembers him as a successful coach, winning four titles for Orange Coast College.

Continue on CultureMap to read the statement released by the University of Houston.

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