LYNDHURST, Ohio — The Chet Mason Invitational was supposed to be all about high school hoops on Sunday.
But for the namesake of the event, everything changed shortly after 2:30 in the afternoon.
"I mean, my stomach is in knots right now," Brush head basketball coach Chet Mason said.
Former NBA superstar Kobe Bryant was killed in a California helicopter crash.
Mason knew Bryant from spending a season with the Los Angeles Lakers' D-League team in 2006 and 2007.
"Just being around him, he was a really, really good person," Mason said. "I'd come in the locker room and Kobe was getting his haircut and he'd be like, 'Do you young guys need a haircut?' And we'd be like, 'Yeah!' and he'd pay for everybody to get their haircut."
The news for Bryant's 13-year-old daughter, Gigi, also dying in the crash hit Mason especially hard.
"I've got five daughters playing basketball and one is 12 and she goes on YouTube to watch Gigi play, so it's tough. It's tough."
Tough to lose one of the greatest to ever pick up a basketball.