Funeral for top youth basketball coach who died in Kobe Bryant helicopter crash

Funeral services have been held for youth basketball coach Christina Mauser who was killed in the ill-fated helicopter crash alongside Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and six others.

Christina was a top assistant coach for the Mamba girls’ basketball team and was traveling to a youth basketball tournament in which 13-year-old Gianna Bryant was to play.

Also on board was baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and their 14-year-old daughter Alyssa, also due to play in the tournament,  when the helicopter crashed into a cloud-covered hillside in Calabasas, California.

Fellow teammate Payton Chester, her mother, Sarah Chester, and the helicopter pilot, Ara Zobayan were also killed in the crash on Jan. 26.

The 38-year-old basketball coach leaves a husband and three children aged 11, 9 and 3. Paying tribute to his late wife her husband Matt described his wife as “extraordinary.”

He told TODAY: “She was extraordinary. She was incredibly witty, funny, funny like nobody you’ve ever met. … She was warm, she was incredibly bright, she was technologically incredibly savvy. She could figure out anything.”

He added: “I got three small kids, and I’m trying to figure out how to navigate life with three kids and no mom. I’m scared. I think more than anything I’m a little scared about the future.”

Matt paid tribute to his wife’s skills as a basketball coach and what she did for her girls.

“They called her the ‘Mother of Defense,’ MOD. It was a family. They all really cared about each other.”

Christina was honored in a private service inside the gymnasium of Edison High School in Huntington Beach, her alma mater, ABC Los Angeles station KABC reported.

A public memorial will be held for Bryant and Gianna on Feb. 24 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. They were laid to rest in a private ceremony on Feb. 7.

May the incredible legacy Christina left and her inspirational work live on. Wishing her family all the strength and love for their future.

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