LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Texts sent from the helicopter, asking for help to connect a girl with a baseball internship, were one of Kobe Bryant’s last acts before the fatal crash that killed him, his daughter Gianna and seven others.
The anecdote was shared Monday at the Staples Center memorial for Kobe Bryant by the Los Angeles Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka. Pelinka said he was at church with his family when he got the text, and was about to put away what looked like a non-urgent message, but something spurred him to answer.
“But a gentle, otherworldly nudge compelled me to open the text, so I did. I quickly saw that Kobe was asking me if I happened to know a certain baseball agent based in Southern California,” Pelinka said. “Since Kobe’s question didn’t have any urgency to it, I decided I’d wait until after church to respond. But again, there was a gentle nudge.”
Pelinka said that the two longtime friends exchanged more texts, and it turned out that Bryant was looking to help Lexi Altobelli secure a baseball agency internship.
Lexi Altobelli is the surviving daughter of Orange Coast College Coach John Altobelli, who along with his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa, also perished on board the helicopter that crashed in the hills of Calabasas on Jan. 26. The crash also killed Mambas Coach Christina Mauser, Mambas player Payton Chester and her mother Sarah, and pilot Ara Zobayan.
“Kobe’s last human act was heroic. He wanted to use his platform to bless and shape a little girl’s future.” Pelinka said.