House lawmakers held a moment of silence Tuesday for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, both of whom died along with seven others in a helicopter crash that sent the sports world and Los Angeles Lakers fans grieving.
Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., who represents portions of Los Angeles, called for the tribute.
"Mr. Speaker, I stand today on behalf of all Californians and certainly the entire city of Los Angeles and millions of fans worldwide who are mourning the sudden and tragic loss of one of the greatest athletes we have ever known, Kobe Bryant," she said.
"Celebrated as a king in Los Angeles, Kobe's death is deeply painful for our city and his millions of fans everywhere," Waters continued.
The congresswoman noted that Bryant gave to charity and was a beloved figure, particularly in Los Angeles where he won five NBA championships in a 20-year career with the Lakers.
"For decades, he dazzled generations of fans," Waters said. "This tragic event is made worse by the death of his 13-year-old daughter, a beautiful young lady who was so full of life and potential."
Bryant, 41, and his daughter were killed Sunday when the chartered Sikorsky S-76B they were in crashed into a hillside in the Los Angeles suburb of Calabasas as they were on their way to a basketball tournament in which Gianna Bryant was playing.
The sudden news sent millions of sports fans reeling and prompted numerous tributes honoring the retired NBA star.
"Our hearts go out to his wife, Vanessa, and surviving daughters, Bianka, Natalia and Capri relatives, teammates and friends," said Waters. "On behalf of the California delegation, we lift up the names of Kobe Bryant and his daughter and all the victims, all of the victims of this horrible tragedy in prayer and reference and send our deepest condolences to their loved ones now and forever.”