A public memorial for Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others who were killed last month in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles will be held in the coming weeks — reportedly Feb. 24 — at the Staples Center where the NBA All-Star played most of his storied two-decade career for the Los Angeles Lakers.
No formal announcement has been made about the event, but Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said last week that a memorial was in the works, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The date, 2/24, corresponds with the No. 24 jersey worn by Bryant and the No. 2 worn by his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
Numerous memorials and tributes have been held in and around Los Angeles since news of Bryant’s Jan. 26 death. Fans have gathered at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles to bring photos, jerseys, flowers, stuffed toys and basketballs in remembrance of the 14-time All-Star.
The items were removed Monday and fans were urged to donate to a Bryant foundation instead of bringing items. Bryant, 41, and his daughter were on a helicopter with seven others en route to a youth basketball tournament when it went down.
The Times said the memorial date was selected after discussions with Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, the Lakers organization and the Staples Center. She has requested some of the items be shipped to the family.
The arena has been the site of several memorials — most recently for rapper and Los Angeles native Nipsey Hustle, as well as Michael Jackson.
A source told the Times there will be no procession and that the event will end in time for the Los Angeles Clippers — which share the venue with the Lakers — to suit up against the Memphis Grizzlies.
A public memorial will be held for Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and daughter Alyssa on Monday at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.
Helicopter pilot Ara Zobayan, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton were also killed in the crash.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
By Louis Casiano