'So many childhood memories of waking up early and watching this magician doing things on the court that I would be mesmerized by.'
India captain Virat Kohli condoled the demise of American basketball legend Kobe Bryant and said he was 'absolutely devastated to hear the news'.
Bryant, one of the NBA’s all-time greatest players, died in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles on Sunday along with his 13-year-old daughter and seven others on board.
Kohli recalled that in his childhood he used to get up early to watch former Los Angeles Lakers player Bryant play.
"Absolutely devastated to hear this news today. So many childhood memories of waking up early and watching this magician doing things on the court that I would be mesmerized by. Life is so unpredictable and fickle. His daughter Gianna passed away too in the crash. I am absolutely Heartbroken. Rest in peace. Strength and condolences to the family," Kohli said on Instagram on Monday.
"Sad day for the sporting world today. One of the greats of the game gone to too soon. Rest in peace Kobe Bryant and his little daughter Gianna and the other victims," Rohit Sharma wrote on Instagram.
"Rest in peace Kobe and his daughter and also the victims of the helicopter crash. Devastated," Shreyas Iyer tweeted.
Taking to Twitter Jaspirt Bumrah wrote, "Gone too soon. Rest in peace legend. #KobeBryant."
Bryant, 41, and his daughter were expected at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks for a basketball game scheduled for Sunday afternoon.
Bryant, who won five NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, also claimed Olympic gold medals with the United States in 2008 and 2012.
He retired in 2016 after playing 1,346 regular season games and averaging 25 points a game, twice leading the league in scoring.
"Saddened to hear about the tragic demise of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna & others on-board the helicopter. My condolences to his family, friends and fans across the world. #KobeBryant," India's batting great Sachin Tendulkar tweeted.
"Absolutely devastated by the tragic news of Kobe Bryant and his daughter. My heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and fans across the globe #KobeBryantRIP #KobeForever #Kobe," India head coach Shastri said.
West Indian legend Viv Richards on his part said: "A true legend of the sporting world! Rest In Peace dear Kobe and his daughter. May the family have immense strength to overcome this sad time."
Australian spin great Shane Warne was "stunned" by the tragedy.
"Like everyone, I'm stunned, shocked and saddened to hear the horrific news about Kobe Bryant and his 13 year old daughter who died in a helicopter crash. Thoughts are with his family and loved ones at this extremely sad time!"