“That loss is something that I know many are still grappling with — particularly, Kobe, because he was with his daughter and those families and those children. And those of us who have had the joy and privilege of being parents and taking kids to ball games and rooting for our children and then seeing our dreams and hopes passed on to them — nothing is more heartbreaking,” he said.
The former president attended the NBA All-Stars brunch held in Chicago as a part of the NBA All-Star Weekend festivities. Journalist Wolf Blitzer posted a video of Obama’s speech on Instagram.
Obama offered “deepest condolences” from him and his wife, Michelle, to the families of the victims, the NBA and the Bryants. He also extended his sympathy to the family of David Stern, the former NBA commissioner who died on Jan. 1.
Like many people, Obama took to Twitter to express his shock at the tragedy last month.
“Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. To lost Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day,” he wrote.
A public memorial for Kobe and Gianna Bryant will take place on Feb. 24 at the Los Angeles Lakers’ Staples Center.