BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland athletes and coaches shared stories and memories about LA Lakers legend Kobe Bryant after he died in a helicopter crash Sunday morning with his daughter Gianna and seven others.

Several former and current Ravens players took to social media to remember Bryant.

Backup quarterback Robert Griffin III tweeted Sunday: “Hurting like the rest of the world right now but not as much as Kobe’s Family. Everybody keep them in your thoughts and prayers.”

Ravens player Willie Snead quote-tweeted Shaquille O’Neal’s tweet remembering Bryant saying, “Long Live” with a goat emoji.

The news broke just before the Pro Bowl began Sunday afternoon, and Ravens player Mark Ingram said it was tough on both sides to get up and play the game after they heard.

“When you lose an icon, a great human being, a father, a husband, one of the best ever to play the game. He transformed the game, he transformed the world, great human changed many lives, so… there’s really no words man. It’s just, you think, you pray for the family that they be comforted, all those affected at this time man. And the world lost a great one today, it’s a tragedy, it’s devastating man and um, man it hurt really bad.” Ingram said.

“It was really a downer for both teams, you hear that, somebody of that magnitude that positive that much of an influence worldwide globally, it was a downer on both teams man you could feel it. It was tough for us to come out here and get up for a game just hearing that devastating news.” Ingram said.

In a sideline interview at the Pro Bowl, Jackson said when he first got drafted Bryant signed a jersey for him.

“That’s a legend,” he said.


PHOTOS: Remembering Kobe Bryant, Daughter Gianna

Former Ravens, including Torrey Smith, O.J. Brigance, Justin Forsett, reacted their shock and sadness.

Former Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith tweeted out in part, “Live life to the fullest.”

Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin tweeted, “I’m so heartbroken” and shared photos of when he met Bryant.

Ovechkin said Bryant gave him a game-worn jersey and sneakers after a game in Los Angeles.

“He was a legend in the basketball world and the whole world. It’s tough,” Ovechkin said in an interview Sunday.

Baltimore Orioles players remembered Bryant as well, sending prayers and condolences to their families.

Maryland’s basketball community was also stunned by the news Sunday.

The Maryland Women’s Basketball Team tweeted out their condolences Sunday evening: “Our hearts are with the Bryant family after the passing of Kobe and Gianna.”

Former Maryland Terp and NBA player Keith Booth tweeted out his disbelief on Bryant’s death, as well as Bryant’s daughter- who was on the helicopter when it crashed- on Sunday.

Washington Wizards Coach Brooks called Bryant “obviously one of the great sports legends.”

Mystics Coach Thibault also tweeted out “heartbreaking news” in part, saying that no day can be taken for granted.

Former Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps said: “My heart hurts to hear the news… thoughts and prayers to Vanessa and family.”

Bryant’s high school in Pennsylvania, Lower Merion High School, also reacted to his death at a press conference outside of the school’s Kobe Bryant Gymnasium.


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