CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The basketball world continues to mourn the sudden passing of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday in Calabasas, California.
All nine people onboard were killed, including Bryant’s thirteen-year-old daughter.
The Virginia men’s basketball team first heard the news following their game at Wake Forest on Sunday.
Cavaliers’ head coach Tony Bennett played three seasons in the NBA, from 1992 to 1995.
Kobe Bryant’s rookie season was in 1996, so they never matched up on the court, but Bennett was always watching the five-time NBA champion and future Hall of Famer.
“You associate Kobe with so many great memories of watching NBA Finals, and whenever an iconic hero like that passes, it makes everybody sort of step back, and realize how precious life is," says Bennett. "Your own mortality. You think about the young girls lives, and the families that were lost. That’s tough stuff. You have to move on. You appreciate your family, your faith, and your friends. But just sad, You have so many memories of the great ones, Muhammad Ali, and Kobe and those, it’s such a big deal, but it doesn’t lighten all those who were lost. Tragedy is hard. "