Kobe Bryant Sports Academy withdraws nickname Mamba

LOS ANGELES: Southern California Sports Academy, formerly jointly owned Kobe Bryant He withdrew his nickname Mamba and changed his name nearly four months after the basketball icon's death in a helicopter crash.

Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven other people were killed while flying to a basketball tournament Jan. 26 at the Mamba Sports Academy when the helicopter crashed in the thick fog northwest of Los Angeles.

The Thousand Oaks-based facility announced Tuesday that it would revert to its original Sports Academy name and remove the Mamba name from the rafters. The academy was founded in 2016; Bryant, who spent 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers and helped the franchise win five NBA championships, joined in 2018.

The games were being played at the academy when news of Bryant's death broke. The players stopped immediately and many people in the gym burst into tears when they were told that Bryant was aboard the crashed helicopter.

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theacademyisunderconsiderationasahomebaseforthegleague'snewselectprogram,whichisscheduledtobegininthefall.theprogramwillserveasaone-yearprepping,bothonandoffthecourt,forcertaineliteplayerswhochosetobypasscollegebutarenotyeteligibleforthenbadraft.

bryantistheonlynbaplayertohavehisteamretiretwonumbersinhishonor.hewasselectedlastmonthforenshrinementintothenaismithmemorialbasketballhalloffame,aceremonythatisstillscheduledforlateaugustthoughmaybedelayeduntilatleastoctoberbecauseofthecoronaviruspandemic.hewaschoseninhisfirstyearofeligibility,alongwithfellowlongtimenbagreatstimduncanandkevingarnett.

bryant'sproductioncompany,granitystudios,hasbeenactivesincehisdeath.thelatestchildren'sbookreleasedbybryant'scompanylastmonth,thewizenardseries:seasonone,becamehisfifthbooktoreachno.1onthenewyorktimesbestsellerlists.

thehelicoptercrashisstillunderinvestigationbythenationaltransportationsafetyboard.pilotarazobayan,orangecoastcollegebaseballcoachjohnaltobelli,hiswife,keri,anddaughteralyssaalsodied; Christina Mauser, who helped Bryant coach the women's basketball team; and Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton. Alyssa and Payton were Gianna's teammates.

On Friday, Zobayan's brother said in a court filing that Bryant knew the risks of flying by helicopter and that his survivors are not entitled to damage to the pilot's property, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Bryant's widow, Vanessa Bryant, sued the assets of Zobayan and the charter company that owned the helicopter, Island Express, in February. She claimed that Zobayan was unable to use ordinary care when piloting the subject plane and negligence.

Vanessa Bryant also filed a claim, a precursor to a lawsuit, last week against the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department after officers allegedly shared unauthorized photos of the crash site. The claim was first reported by PEOPLE; The investigation into the photos of the deputies was initially published by The Los Angeles Times.

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