Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 28 March 2020

Remembering when Kobe Bryant visited Abu Dhabi and Dubai - in pictures

The NBA legend, who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday, visited the UAE in September 2013

The world woke up to the shock news that NBA legend Kobe Bryant had died in a helicopter crash in California on Sunday along with his teenage daughter and seven others.

One of the people Bryant was travelling with in his private helicopter was his daughter Gianna, 13.

Thousands of mourners gathered near the Staples Centre in Los Angeles to pay tribute to the basketball legend, a five-time NBA champion and one of the greatest players of all time.

UAE basketball fans may well remember Bryant's trip to the country in September 2013.

Bryant visited schools in Abu Dhabi and Dubai to take coaching clinics and attend basketball matches to promote Kobe Bryant Health and Fitness Weekend.

More than 2,000 supporters packed out the American University in Dubai’s Knights Arena during the first leg of his tour, cheering and screaming his name. Plenty of the spectators tried to get closer to the sporting legend by running on to the court to take a picture.

The Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, made reference to the visit in a tribute he paid the basketball legend on Twitter.

"You carried an inspirational message to our youth in Dubai and helped them accomplish their dreams.

“'Heroes come and go, but legends are forever' Kobe Bryant," wrote Sheikh Mohammed.

Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed also paid tribute to the star, saying he was saddened by the death of the basketball legend and his daughter.

“We lost a man full of enterprise, who inspired generations," tweeted the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

“Sincere condolences to his family on the demise of such a star who thrilled fans with his performance and talent.”

The tribute was accompanied by a picture of Bryant and his daughter Gianna.

Above is a picture gallery of Bryant's trip to the UAE. To move on to the next image, click on the arrows or thumbnails, or if using a mobile device simply swipe.

Updated: January 28, 2020 08:34 AM

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