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'One of the great competitors of any generation' | Drew Brees reflects on Kobe Bryant

"I pray for him, I pray for his family," Brees said Sunday. "It's a tragic loss."

ORLANDO, Fla. — Basketball legend Kobe Bryant reportedly died in a helicopter crash in Southern California on Sunday at age 41.

At the 2020 Pro Bowl in Orlando on Sunday afternoon, former Westlake and current Saints quarterback Drew Brees was asked about Bryant.

"I had the chance to meet him one time, but he was a guy I always hoped I'd have the chance to be around him more. Had so much respect for him as a competitor. I know he inspired so many people in so many different ways," Brees said. "I mean, one of the great competitors of any generation. Not just for sports, but the way he approached, you know, a lot of things and what he was doing now after basketball."

RELATED: Kobe Bryant, daughter reportedly killed after Southern California helicopter crash leaves no survivors

"I pray for him, I pray for his family," Brees added. "It's a tragic loss."

On Sunday afternoon, multiple news outlets reported that Bryant was among nine passengers killed in a helicopter crash in Southern California. ESPN later reported that among the passengers was Bryant's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna "Gigi" Bryant.

Brees later posted to his Instagram account: "I had the chance to watch Kobe Bryant practice at UCSD back in 2004 and then meet him in 2006 in New Orleans. His determination, work ethic, and competitive drive were unmatched. He inspired so many and his legacy will live on forever."

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Celebrities, athletes and politicians react to the death of Kobe Bryant

Texas athletes, celebrities, public figures react to reports of Kobe Bryant's death

Kobe Bryant's last tweet congratulated LeBron James as James passed Bryant on the NBA's All-Time scoring list in Bryant's hometown of Philadelphia on Saturday. 

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