WATCH: ‘Will to win matched by only Michael Jordan’ Former Valley NBA official reflects on passing of Kobe Bryant

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Retired veteran NBA official Joe DeRosa, who is from the Valley, reflected on the passing of Kobe Bryant on Sunday

CALABASAS, Calif. (AP and WKBN) — Kobe Bryant, the 18-time NBA All-Star who won five championships and became one of the greatest basketball players of his generation during a 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, died in a helicopter crash Sunday. He was 41.

Sports Team 27 caught up with Joe DeRosa who is a retired veteran NBA official from the Valley who spoke about Bryant’s passing.

Watch the video above to hear from DeRosa.

Bryant died in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, California, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.

Bryant retired in 2016 as the third-leading scorer in NBA history, finishing two decades with the Lakers as a prolific scorer with a sublime all-around game and a relentless competitive ethic. He held that spot in the league scoring ranks until Saturday night, when the Lakers’ LeBron James passed him for third place during a game in Philadelphia, Bryant’s hometown.

Bryant had one of the greatest careers in recent NBA history and became one of the game’s most popular players as the face of the 16-time NBA champion Lakers franchise. He was the league MVP in 2008 and a two-time NBA scoring champion, and he earned 12 selections to the NBA’s All-Defensive teams.

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