The City of Los Angeles will pay tribute to Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant during a public memorial Feb. 24. The event — which will be held at the Staples Center — will be for all the victims killed in a helicopter crash in January, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The date of the memorial has meaning to both Kobe and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, who was also a victim of the crash. Gianna Bryant wore No. 2 at Harbor Day School. Kobe Bryant wore No. 24 during the second half of his career. Together, that gives Feb. 24 — or 2/24 — an additional meaning.
Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant and seven others were killed in the crash, which occurred Jan. 26. In the days following the crash, NBA teams, players and fans have come together to mourn Bryant’s death. Teams took symbolic penalties’ in honor of Bryant, players changed their numbers and fans gathered outside Staples Center to build a makeshift memorial.
The fan-made memorial has been taken down now. All the items fans left at Staples Center have been donated to Vanessa Bryant at her request.
All-Star Game will also pay tribute to Kobe
Before Bryant’s public memorial, the league will once again pay tribute to Bryant at the All-Star Game. The league will use Bryant’s No. 24 as a guide for the target score in the All-Star Game.
At the end of the third quarter, the leading team’s score will have 24 added to it. That will be the target number for both teams in the fourth quarter. Whichever team can hit that number first will win.
For example, if the leading team has 100 points at the end of the third quarter, 124 will be the target score for the fourth quarter. The first team to reach 124 wins.
Public service will honor all victims of the crash
The public memorial service at Staples Center will also honor the lives of John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli, who were also victims of the crash. John Altobelli was a long-time baseball coach at Orange Coast College. Alyssa and Gianna played on the same basketball team.
Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton Chester, and pilot Ara Zobayan also died in the crash.
The Staples Center has not provided information regarding timing or tickets for the public memorial.
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