Lexi Altobelli’s father, mother, and sister were killed in the helicopter crash that took Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s lives. During his memorial, it was revealed that Kobe’s last text was to his friend, trying to secure an internship for 16-year-old Lexi.
John Altobelli was the head baseball coach at Orange Coast College. He and his wife, Keri, were traveling with their daughter, Alyssa, in the helicopter, because Alyssa played on Gianna’s basketball team.
You can read more about John, Keri, and Alyssa here.
During Bryant’s memorial, his best friend Rob Pelinka gave a eulogy which revealed the anecdote. Pelinka was also, notably, Gianna’s godfather.
Pelinka revealed that he had a text conversation with Bryant on January 26, while Bryant was in the helicopter that would eventually crash, minutes later. The purpose of the text conversation was to set Lexi up with a baseball agent they both knew, Pelinka said.
“Kobe texted back, explaining his desire to help a friend of his secure a baseball internship for one of his young daughters,” Pelinka said. “Kobe vouched for the girl’s character, intellect, and work ethic. He clearly wanted to champion a bright future for her.”
“I text Kobe right back and said i would put a plan in motion to get that done. A handful of minutes later, Kobe and Gianna and seven other beautiful souls ascended to heaven,” Pelinka said. “The girl in that text chain that he had been wanting to help so badly was Lexi Altobelli, the surviving father of coach John Altobelli…Kobe’s last human act was heroic. He wanted to use his platform to bless and shape a young girl’s future.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Lexi & J.J. Altobelli Lost Their Father, Mother, & Sister in the Helicopter Crash
For those looking to support Lexi and her brother J.J., you can contribute to a GoFundMe to help the remaining Altobelli family members pay for funeral costs, future education costs, and other living costs. So far, the GoFundMe has raised over $300,000.
The GoFundMe reads in part,
As many of you have read by now, a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020 in Calabasas, CA has claimed the lives of nine people. John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli were among the nine victims. Most devastating to our Red Sox family, John, Keri, and Alyssa were the father, stepmother and younger sister of one of our scouts, J.J. Altobelli.
As J.J. and his sister Lexi cope with the immense sadness stemming from this accident, we want to rally to raise money for them. Ensuring that J.J. and Lexi don’t have to worry about financial insecurity moving forward is the least we can do.
Following the tragic accident, millions of people mourned the loss of the nine people who died in the helicopter crash. Olivia Culpo was one such person who lifted up Lexi’s story, meeting her in person and writing in an Instagram post, “A week ago today Lexi’s entire life changed forever when her mom, dad, and little sister died in the tragic helicopter crash alongside Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, and Ara Zobayan.”
Culpo encouraged everyone to donate to the GoFundMe for Lexi and J.J., writing, “No amount is too small, and even the smallest amount symbolizes your support and love for a family who really needs it right now. If you can’t donate, please hold Lexi and her brother and all of the other families involved in this tragedy in your heart ❤️? I can’t imagine what could possibly ease their pain at this time, but I know thoughts and prayers can go a long way.”