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#pounditSaturday, October 24, 2020

Sarah Chester, daughter Payton were also killed in Kobe Bryant helicopter crash

Millions of people around the world are hurting over the death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, but it is important to remember that there are other families experiencing the same devastation as the Bryant family. That is certainly the case for those close to Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton.

Sarah and Payton Chester were two of the nine people who died in Sunday’s helicopter crash. Payton, who was 13, was teammates with 13-year-old Gianna at the Mamba Academy. Andy George, Sarah’s brother and Payton’s uncle, told the Orange County Register that Sarah was a standout soccer player at La Serna High School and “the one that everybody counted on.”

“She was there for everyone,” George said. “She was everything to her family, to our family. Anytime I needed anything, she was the person I went to.”

George said playing on the Mamba team was a huge part of Payton’s life and that Kobe was always there for the Chester family.

“She was on the Mamba team for years, she loved it,” George said of his 13-year-old niece. “It was obviously a big part of her life. He (Bryant) was always there for them. (Payton) wanted to play in high school and college.”

Sarah and Payton Chester received a nice tribute from former Harbor View Elementary school principal Todd Schmidt on Facebook.

“As folks mourn the loss of Kobe Bryant, I want to take a moment to remember two gorgeous human beings who were with him, Sarah and Payton Chester,” Schmidt wrote. “As a principal, we work with some amazing families, the Chesters were one of those, engaged, supportive, encouraging, and full of mischief and laughter and they had the best kiddos!

“This family made such a huge impact at Harbor View. They were genuine, kind-hearted, and caring to the staff, to other families and yes, especially to me.”

Sarah and Payton are survived by Sarah’s husband and Payton’s father, Chris, as well as Sarah’s two sons and Sarah’s brothers, 16-year-olds Hayden and Riley. Sarah’s mother and Payton’s grandmother, Catherine George, told NBC News that Payton “loved playing for Kobe Bryant.”

“He was a great coach,” Catherine George said. “Her mother and father were very helpful … and they practiced a lot, and for 13 she was very good.”

Sunday’s tragedy is historic because it involved Bryant and his daughter, but the other families involved are grieving just as much. Our thoughts are with all of them.

More Larry Brown Sports coverage of Kobe Bryant’s death:

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Other victims of the helicopter crash:
John Altobelli, junior college baseball coach, also died in helicopter crash
Christina Mauser, girls’ basketball coach, among the helicopter crash victims
Sarah Chester, daughter Payton were also killed in Kobe Bryant helicopter crash
Ara Zobayan was the pilot in Kobe Bryant helicopter crash

Tributes to Kobe:
Dallas Mavericks retire Kobe Bryant’s No. 24 jersey
Video: Raptors, Spurs start game with amazing tribute to Kobe Bryant
Shaq posts heartfelt tribute to Kobe Bryant
Michael Jordan releases statement on death of ‘little brother’ Kobe Bryant
Video: Doc Rivers breaks down crying talking about Kobe Bryant
Phil Jackson calls Kobe Bryant ‘a chosen one’ in statement on his death
NBA commissioner Adam Silver issues statement on death of Kobe Bryant
Video: Dwyane Wade posts emotional message reacting to Kobe Bryant’s death
Kendrick Perkins extends olive branch to Kevin Durant after Kobe Bryant’s death
Video: Emotional Mike Breen sums up NBA world’s emotions about Kobe Bryant’s death
Trae Young’s huge game was full of Kobe Bryant-related statistical coincidences

More coverage:
Video: Kobe Bryant helicopter audio released
Media errors, rumors, poor judgment run rampant in reporting of Kobe Bryant news
NBA postpones Tuesday’s Lakers-Clippers game after Kobe Bryant’s death
Kobe Bryant recently filed for ‘Mambacita’ trademark for daughter Gianna
Kobe Bryant checked in on Shaq’s son Shareef morning of helicopter crash
No, Rick Fox did not die in helicopter crash that killed Kobe, Gianna Bryant
Lakers fans start memorial to Kobe Bryant outside Staples Center
Kobe Bryant’s last tweet was congratulating LeBron James on passing him
Sports world stunned over Kobe Bryant news
Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash – dead at 41

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