Mike Miller: 'Thoughts and prayers to the Bryant family'

Fans gather at a mural painted in an alley on Lebanon St in Los Angeles pays tribute to Kobe Bryant who was killed in a helicopter crash Jan 26, 2020.

Mitchell native and former NBA player Mike Miller was among those who tweeted condolences about superstar Kobe Bryant on Sunday.

Bryant, one of the NBA's all-time greatest players and an athlete of global renown, was killed at age 41 on Sunday in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles along with his 13-year-old daughter (Gigi) and seven on board.

Miller, who played with Bryant on Team USA during the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship, tweeted on Sunday: “Don’t know where to begin. Thoughts and prayers to the Bryant family.” Miller also tweeted a picture of the two preparing for a FIBA contest. Miller is currently an assistant coach for the Memphis Tigers.

Rapid City native and former WNBA star Becky Hammon posted on her Instagram account on Sunday: "I have no words. Rest In Peace. #legend #kobebryant #gigibryant ," along with several images of Bryant and Gigi. Hammon is currently an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs.


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I have no words. Rest In Peace. #legend #kobebryant #gigibryant

A post shared by Becky Hammon (@officialbeckyhammon) on

Bryant rocketed to fame as an 18-year-old rookie and played 20 years for the Los Angeles Lakers, 18 as an all-star forward, and won five NBA championships.

The Philadelphia native went straight from high school to the NBA, skipping the college ranks. Since he was just 17 at the time, his parents needed to co-sign his first contract with the Lakers. He played his first game with the team soon after turning 18 in 1996.

He was the third-leading scorer in league history with 33,643 points, until LeBron James surpassed him on Saturday.

Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa, who he married in 2001, and daughters Natalia (17), Bianka (3), and Kapri (seven months).

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