Jan 27, 2020 / 15:25 pm
Hours before he died Sunday, basketball superstar Kobe Bryant knelt in prayer at Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Newport Beach, California. His parish is now praying for his soul.
Holy Mass was offered Monday at the parish for the souls of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven other victims of the Jan. 26 helicopter crash that took their lives, according to NBC 4 Los Angeles.
NBC also reported that parishioners have gathered to pray the rosary for the Bryants, and for the other victims of the crash.
Parishioners said Bryant was a regular part of their parish community.
Heny Russell, an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion at the parish, remembered that Bryant presented a bit of a challenge to her.
"When I give him communion I have to put my arm and feet up like that so I can reach him," Russell said, demonstrating a stretch on the tip of her toes.
“They are very humble people, you know,” Russell told NBC of her fellow parishioners.
Kobe Bryant, 41, was the father of four. Gianna Bryant, 13, was an upcoming basketball player in her own right, who had said she hoped to play for the University of Connecticut. They were killed Sunday, along with seven other people, while en route via helicopter to a youth basketball tournament.