/Kobe Bryant crash: Coach, wife, daughter to be honored at memorial service

Kobe Bryant crash: Coach, wife, daughter to be honored at memorial service

All nine people on board died in the Jan. 26 helicopter crash.

A college coach, his wife and daughter who all died in a helicopter crash alongside Kobe Bryant will be honored at a memorial service on Monday.

Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli and his wife Keri Altobelli were on board with daughter Alyssa Altobelli, who was a basketball teammate of the NBA legend’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant.

All nine people on the helicopter died in the Jan. 26 crash in Southern California while en route to a game at Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy.

Monday’s service for the Altobellis is at 4 p.m. local time at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

John and Keri Altobelli are survived by two other children, son J.J. — John Altobelli’s son from a previous marriage — and 16-year-old daughter Alexis, according to the Orange County Register.

J.J. is a scout for the Boston Red Sox, the newspaper said.

John Altobelli worked at Orange Coast College for 27 years and was known to be a mentor to players, according to the school.

“He truly personified what it means to be a baseball coach,” the school’s athletic director, Jason Kehler, said in a statement. “The passion that he put into the game, but more importantly his athletes, was second to none – he treated them like family.”

“We have lost a member of our OCC family, and our hearts are broken,” the college president, Angelica Suarez, added in a statement. “Coach Altobelli was a giant on our campus – a beloved teacher, coach, colleague and friend. This is a tremendous loss for our campus community.”

“John Altobelli was a great coach and man,” tweeted Barry Faulkner, a sportswriter at the Daily Pilot in Southern California. “I worked closely with him for more than a dozen years covering his OCC program. Huge heart. Great sense of humor and passion for the game, his players and his family.”

His wife, Keri Altobelli, “really ran this team,” interim manager Nate Johnson said, according to KNBC. “They made everyone feel like an Altobelli or a Pirate.”

Alyssa Altobelli, 14, was in eighth grade and a point guard on the girls’ Mamba basketball team, according to ABC Los Angeles station KABC.

“If she was smiling, other people were always smiling around her,” Alyssa Altobelli’s friend, Ellie Robinson, said at a vigil.

Original Source