John Altobelli, Christina Mauser Died in Helicopter Crash Along with Kobe Bryant

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 27, 2020

Los Angeles County Fire Department Chief Daryl Osby takes questions at a news conference Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, in Calabasas, Calif. NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash on a steep hillside in dense morning fog in Southern California on Sunday, his sudden death at age 41 touching off an outpouring of grief for a star whose celebrity transcended basketball. (AP Photo/Stefanie Dazio)
Stefanie Dazio/Associated Press

Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli was among the victims in the helicopter crash that also killed NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, according to ESPN.

Altobelli's wife Keri and daughter Alyssa also died in the crash, which killed nine people in total Sunday:

Mike DiGiovanna @MikeDiGiovanna

John Altobelli's brother, Tony, just confirmed that John's wife, Keri, was among the victims of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant. John's daughter, Alyssa, who played on the club team with Kobe's daughter, was also killed. John was entering his 38th year as OCC coach.

Christina Mauser, an assistant coach for an Orange County private elementary school basketball team, was also killed in the crash:

Mayor Katrina Foley @KatrinaFoley

I just learned that our amazing Matt Mauser of TiajuanaDogs lost his wife Christina in the crash. She coached the girls team. This devastating tragedy gets worse by the hour. So much pain for so many local families. Our hearts are broken & grieving for the families impacted.

"My kids and I are devastated. We lost our beautiful wife and mom today in a helicopter crash," her husband, Matt Mauser, wrote in a Facebook post, per Jon Passantino of CNN.com. "Please respect our privacy. Thank you for all the well wishes they mean so much."

OCC athletic director Jason Kehler released a statement following the news of Altobelli's death:

"John meant so much to not only Orange Coast College, but to baseball. He truly personified what it means to be a baseball coach. The passion that he put into the game, but more importantly his athletes, was second to none -- he treated them like family. Our deepest condolences go out to the Altobelli family during this time of tragedy."

New York Mets outfielder Jeff McNeil, who played for Altobelli, also reflected upon his life:

Jeff Passan @JeffPassan

Jeff McNeil had struggled in college. His coaches called John Altobelli, a Cal juco legend, and asked him to bring McNeil to the Cape anyway. “He took a chance on me, kept me the whole summer,” McNeil said. “Him taking that chance on me, having me on his team, got me drafted.”

Jeff McNeil @JeffMcNeil805

Tough to hear the news of coach Altobelli. One of my favorite coaches I have ever played for and one of the main reasons I got a chance to play professional baseball. Both the baseball and basketball world lost a great one today https://t.co/efAyf3s7Hj

Other MLB players to play for Altobelli included Aaron Judge, Scott Kingery, Michael Lorenzen, Braden Bishop, Ryon Healy, Luke Weaver Austin Voth, per Manny Randhawa of MLB.com.

Aaron Judge @TheJudge44

This isn’t real...

According to ESPN, the 56-year-old Altobelli spent 27 years coaching Orange Coast College's baseball team, accumulating over 700 wins and four state titles.


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