Tag Archives: basketball

Update: NBBF pays tribute to late Michael Ojo


The Nigeria Basketball Federation has paid glowing tributes to former D’Tigers invitee, Michael Olalekan Ojo who died during a training session after suffering a heart attack.

“This is another flower that unexpectedly withered at such a time it was expected to start blossoming,” NBBF President, Engr Musa Kida said of the 27-year-old.

“After a sterling college career in the United States of America and after securing a professional deal in Belgrade, it is so sad that the basketball world has been robbed of this emerging talent who has been described as one of the tallest to play basketball in Serbia.”

The Federation’s Vice President, Babs Ogunade also said beautiful things about the late player.

“I met with him in February at the FIBA Women’s Olympic qualifying tournament in Serbia. I watched his match against Partizan Basketball. He was such a calm and unassuming personality.”


The North-Central Representative on the board, Isah Umah described the late centre, who won the 2019 Serbian Professional League with Crvena, as humble and hard-working.

Umar who was D’Tigers Team Manager when the team was preparing for the 2011 FIBA Afrobasket when Ojo was invited to the National team revealed that he was a true Nigerian who bled green and white.

“He was excited to be part of Team Nigeria and gave his best at such a young age. He did not make the final cut, but he was excited to have a chance to play for his fatherland.”

During the 2019–20 season, Ojo appeared in 22 EuroLeague games with Crvena Zvezda, averaging 4.1 points and 3 rebounds per game while appearing in about 108 games for his club before his untimely demise as teams were preparing for life after the Covid-19.


27-year-old Nigerian Basketball player, Michael Ojo dies during training.


Michael Ojo, a Nigerian basketball player who previously played for Red Star Belgrade, died at the age of 27 during a training session in the Serbian capital on Friday, the club said.

“We are deeply saddened by the news”, Red Star’s spokesperson Igor Vujicin told Media (known to Noble Reporters Media).

The club couldn’t confirm the cause of death, but local media reported that Ojo suffered a heart attack.

Born in Lagos, the 2.16 metre (7ft 1in) centre played for Florida State University in the United States before coming to Europe to start his professional career.

After a stint with the Belgrade team FMP Zeleznik, he moved to European giants Red Star, where he spent two seasons, quickly becoming a fan favourite.


Ojo had been without a club since June 30 but was training in Belgrade.

This file photograph taken on March 16, 2017, shows Michael Ojo #50, then of the Florida State Seminoles, as he shoots for the basket in the second half against the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles during the first round of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. Mike Ehrmann / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

His former team released a statement mourning the loss of the “cheerful giant”.

“The sudden and shocking death of Michael Ojo has deeply affected everyone — players, coaches and the management of a club that accepted him from the first day, and that he considered his own,” Red Star said.

EuroLeague also extended condolences to Ojo’s family, teammates, coaches, “and many fans who enjoyed his performances”.


NBA All-Star Game now The Kobe Bryant MVP Award

The MVP award for the NBA All-Star Game is now officially “The Kobe Bryant MVP Award.”

The annoucement was made on Saturday by NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver.

“Kobe Bryant is synonymous with NBA All-Star and embodies the spirit of this global celebration of our game,” Silver said. “He always relished the opportunity to compete with the best of the best and perform at the highest level for millions of fans around the world.”

Late Kobe Bryant

The Kobe Bryant MVP Award will be presented on Sunday at the end of the 2020 All-Star Game in Chicago. The teams will be captained by LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Team Giannis will wear No. 24 and Team LeBron will wear No. 2, the respective jersey numbers worn by Kobe Bryant and his duaghter, Gianna.

Bryant was an 18-time All-Star who won a record-tying four All-Star Game MVP awards, the NBA said. He was named All-Star Game MVP in 2002, 2007, 2009 and 2011. He was the youngest player to ever play in an All-Star Game at 19 years old in 1998.


LeBron James leads tributes to LA Lakers legend

LeBron James led tributes to LA Lakers legend Kobe Bryant in the team’s first game since he died in a helicopter crash alongside his daughter Gianna and seven other people.

The Lakers lost 127-119 to the Portland Trail Blazers at the Staples Center on a night when the team remembered Bryant’s 20-year career in LA, which delivered five NBA championships.

Lakers players wore shirts with Bryant’s numbers – eight and 24 – displayed on them in the warm-up and a ‘KB’ logo was printed on the court.

The tribute began with each member of the Lakers’ line-up being introduced as “number eight, Kobe Bryant”, before R&B artist Usher sang Amazing Grace in front of yellow rose arrangements in the shapes of Bryant’s jersey numbers.

Kobe’s number 24 and Gianna’s number two jerseys were also placed on the two courtside seats where the pair watched their last Lakers game.

“This is a celebration of the 20 years of sweat, the tears, the broken down body, the getting up,” Lakers forward James said.

“Tonight we celebrate the kid that came here at 18, retired at 38 and became probably the best dad we’ve seen over the last three years.”

“Sitting down to everything, the countless hours, the determination to be as great as he could be.

“Tonight we celebrate the kid who came here at 18 years of age, retired at 38 and became the best dad we’ve seen over the last three years.”


LeBron James, Usher, Others remember Kobe Bryant at Los Angeles Lakers Game ..

In the first match since the crash that claimed the former Laker’s life, fans chanted and roses adorned the seats where Bryant and his daughter Gianna once sat.
Red roses adorned the courtside seats where Kobe and Gianna Bryant sat at the last Los Angeles Lakers game they attended. On the overhead video board, photos of Bryant in action for the Lakers alternated with those of the other seven people who were killed alongside him and his 13-year-old daughter in a helicopter crash.

Friday night at Staples Center was unlike any other.

Longtime public address announcer Lawrence Tanter introduced the entire Lakers lineup the same way: “From Lower Merion High School, No. 8, Kobe Bryant.”

In a ceremony before the Lakers’ first game since the crash on Sunday, Usher stood at center court of the darkened arena in front of No. 8 and No. 24 yellow rose arrangements to sing “Amazing Grace.” Cellist Ben Hong from the Los Angeles Philharmonic performed while video of Bryant talking about his life and career played.

Fans interrupted the silence with chants of “Kobe! Kobe!” and “MVP! MVP!”

Boyz II Men, from Bryant’s hometown of Philadelphia, sang the national anthem.

LeBron James, wearing No. 24, wiped his eyes as the anthem ended. He and Anthony Davis, wearing No. 8, hugged.

The crowd stood for 24.2 seconds of silence as the shot clocks ticked off the time until the horn blared. Spotlights shone on the empty seats set aside for Bryant and his daughter. His had a black-and-white Mamba jersey and hers a No. 24 jersey.

James stood at center court and read the names of the nine crash victims, ending with Bryant. He told the crowd he had remarks prepared and pulled a piece of paper from his sweatpants. But then James tossed it to the floor.

“Laker Nation, I would be selling you short if I read off this [expletive], so I’m going to go straight from the heart,” he said.

“The first thing comes to mind is all about family. As I look around this arena, we’re all breathing, hurt and heartbroken,” James said. “The best thing you can do is lean on the shoulders of your family.”

James noted there will be a memorial at some point for Bryant.

“I look at this as a celebration tonight,” he said.

In the couple of hours leading up to the game there was mostly silence. The electric atmosphere that surges through the arena before NBA games was nowhere to be felt. Media talked quietly among themselves without the usual music playing. Somber ushers took up their positions with black ribbons attached to their purple work shirts. Grief counseling was offered to arena staff and one female usher pulled tissues out of her pocket that had been provided.

Inside the Lakers locker room, Bryant’s No. 24 gold jersey hung on a wooden hanger from a fire alarm next to James’ locker. It was Bryant’s locker when he helped the team win five NBA championships during his 20 years in Los Angeles.

“He’s been really a tower of strength for all of us,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said of James. “We’re following his lead.”

Dwight Howard sat at his locker with earbuds in. None of the players spoke before the game.

Back in the arena, Jeff Nadal was among the early arriving fans. Nadal rolled up a giveaway No. 24 T-shirt in his hand and rested his chin on it, staring into space.

“It doesn’t really feel like you’re here for a game,” the 26-year-old middle school teacher from Whittier said. “It feels like you’re here for something a lot bigger than that. We didn’t even know the guy, but we feel like we did.”

The music began playing once the public flowed through the doors. Several fans donned the gold T-shirts at their seats; others took pictures of the video board and the electronic ribbon scrolling the victims’ names around the upper level.

“We know it’s going to be a heavy-hearted night,” Vogel said. “It’s our job to manage our emotions and honor Kobe, Gianna and the other victims the right way.”

Across the street from Staples Center, large crowds continued to gather for informal public mourning at a plaza loaded with flowers, balloons and hand-written messages, many on the pavement, honoring Bryant and his daughter.

Large poster boards covered in signatures and messages were moved to the middle of the blocked off street separating the arena and the LA Live entertainment district.

The Lakers will wear a “KB” patch on their jerseys the rest of the season.


{Photos} LeBron tattoos ‘Kobe 4 life’ on his lap ..

Popular basketball star, Lebron James has paid tribute to Kobe Bryant with a new tattoo, days after the LA Lakers legend died in a helicopter crash alongside his daughter Gianna and 9 others in Calabasas, California.

Lebron who was pictured crying at the Los Angeles airport the morning after hearing of Kobe’s untimely death, visited celebrity tattoo artist Vanessa Aurelia on Wednesday to get the new ink, then on Thursday during his work out in Lakers training facility in El Segundo, let photographers capture the new tattoo.

The tattoo is still fresh, but has the shape of a black mamba, the nickname Kobe was known for, then an inscription ‘Kobe for life’ can be seen written.


Debate to make NBA new logo of Kobe Bryant pass 2.5m ..

A petition to make the late Kobe Bryant the new NBA logo has grown massively, surpassing 2.5 million.

It has been reported that a petition to make LA Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash, the new NBA logo has grown to huge proportions.

The petition has now become the first petition of 2020 on change.org to pass a million signatures, a report by the Agence France Presse, AFP, has shown.

Justin Bieber, Snoop Dogg and Usher have all backed the move, which had received 2.6 million signatures by Wednesday, well on the way to its target of 3 million.

“When I started this petition I was just some 16-year-old kid who had just lost his role model and hero,” wrote Nick Moghtader from Vancouver in Canada, who registered the petition.

“I was using it as a way to cope and mourn his passing. My initial goal was to get a mere 100 signatures. Never would I have thought for this petition to get so incredibly big,” he wrote.

The NBA’s current logo features a white silhouette of Jerry West — another LA Lakers legend — and has been around since 1969.

West later became the Lakers’ general manager, picking a 17-year-old Bryant straight out of high school in the 1996 draft.


Kobe Bryant’s death is because of his affair with his daughter – Doctor affirms ..

Following the tragic death of NBA star, Kobe Bryant and 13-year-old daughter, Gianni in the gory helicopter crash, a Nigerian UK-based Doctor and Writer, Yemi, has alleged that Kobe was having incestuous affair with his daughter, Gianni.

According to Yemi, Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianni perishing in the gory helicopter crash was a punishment from God for their incestuous affair.The Nigerian UK-based Doctor, Yemi, took to Twitter and posted a photo of Kobe Bryant kissing his daughter on the lips and asked whether it was right for a father and daughter to kiss on the lips and then alleged that;“Is it right to have a lip kiss with your own daughter? Kobe Bryant was no doubt a pedophile and an incestuous father. They deserve death. The death was punishment for their sins, for atonement. #RIPMamba”.

In another tweet, Yemi continued that;

“I had a dream on Tuesday last week where God appeared to me and told me that he was going to kill Kobe Bryant and his daughter for their incestuous affair. I didn’t believe him. When it happened, he reappeared and said, “You doubt too much my daughter #RIPMamba #RIPGianna”.


How Kobe Bryant’s Helicopter crashed ..

New footage of Kobe Bryant’s helicopter circling ‘aggressively’ overhead before it crashed has surfaced online.

A witness who captured the moment took to Twitter to share the video of the helicopter circling over Glendale, California, just 30 minutes before the Sikorsky S-76 crashed into a hillside in Calabasas, northwest of Los Angeles on Sunday.

‘I try and video /photograph all the weird stuff happening above my house in Glendale,CA. Unfortunately this morning I didn’t realize I was filming the helicopter Kobe Bryant, his daughter and others were in 31 minutes before they crashed . RIP,’ a Twitter user with the handle @theironlydreams wrote.

Another tweet from the same user claimed that the pilot was performing a very ”aggressive circling maneuver,” that’s why he went outside to film because it was so loud. He added that he ‘observed 1 or 2 circles’ before filming.

 New footage of Kobe Bryant

According to the Today show, the man’s home has been verified as being under the flight path of the Sikorsky S-76B chopper.


I will continue Kobe Bryant’s legacy – LeBron James ..

LeBron James says he is “heartbroken” over the death of Kobe Bryant and promises to continue his fellow basketball great’s legacy.
Bryant and his daughter Gianna were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday.
LA Lakers star James surpassed Bryant to become the NBA’s third-highest scorer of all time on Saturday, reports the BBC.

James also played alongside Bryant at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, helping the United States win two gold medals.
“Man, I sitting here trying to write something for this post but every time I try, I begin crying again just thinking about you, niece Gigi and the friendship/bond/brotherhood we had!” he posted on social media.

“I literally just heard your voice Sunday morning before I left Philly to head back to LA. Didn’t think for one bit in a million years that would be the last conversation we’d have.
“I’m heartbroken and devastated my brother.

“I promise you I’ll continue your legacy man! You mean so much to us all here. Please give me the strength from the heavens above and watch over me! I got US here! There’s so much more I want to say but just can’t right now because I can’t get through it! Until we meet again my brother!!”
Bryant finished his playing career as the Lakers’ all-time leading points scorer, and is fourth on the NBA’s all-time list with 33,643 points.

In his 1,566th and final game for the Lakers in April 2016 he scored 60 points for the sixth time.
Speaking after the LA Lakers’ 108-91 defeat by the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday, which was the day before Bryant’s death, James said: “I’m happy just to be in any conversation with Kobe Bryant.
“One of the all-time greatest basketball players to ever play, one of the all-time greatest Lakers.”

Meanwhile, reports have it that the helicopter carrying former NBA star Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others is believed to have plummeted 500 feet in 15 seconds in heavy fog killing everyone on board.
Details of the doomed 39-minute flight from John Wayne Airport on Sunday morning, which had been ferrying the passengers to a basketball tournament 80 miles away, have now emerged.

Pilot Ara Zobayan had tried to turn the Sikorsky S-76 chopper moments before the impact, banking south west – with some suggestion he lost control of the aircraft as he attempted to clear unexpected cloud.
Audio between the pilot and air traffic controllers reveals he was given permission to fly under special visual flight rules or SVFR, despite the treacherous fog.
But he was forced to circle for a quarter of an hour while the air space was cleared by controllers.

Thick fog engulfed the flight path and conditions continued to worsen in the minutes after takeoff at 9.06am, with Zobayan then circling over Burbank from 9.20am.
Remaining in constant contact with air traffic control at Burbank Airport, the helicopter then asked the Van Nuys Tower if it could rotate southwest at 9.39am which was approved.

Zobayan had been given special permission to navigate the difficult conditions by sight without reliance on instruments, and after the maneouvre he confirmed he had regained flight visuals.
The helicopter then began to accent to 1,500 feet before dropping back down at 9.42am to allow the aircraft to show up on the correct frequency as per requests from air traffic controllers.

However, there was no response from the pilot and 40 seconds before the helicopter plummeted to the ground, the tower said: “You’re still too low for flight following at this time.”
Instead, Zobayan climbed to around 2,125 feet, potentially looking to rid himself of the poor weather, before crashing while traveling at 175mph.
Flight data indicates the chopper dropped at 425 feet in its final 15 seconds before crashing into a hillside in Calabasas at 9.45am.

Experienced helicopter pilot Phillipe Lesourd told The Sun it appears Zobayan had lost control when suddenly spotting low cloud and trying to turn at the last second.
He compared it to driving “on the freeway at a 115mph and close your eyes – what do you think is going to happen”.
Lesourd said choppers are “unstable” and pilots are navigating in 3D rather than straight lines like motorists, and it is “very, very easy to get into spatial disorientation”.
There would have been no other aircraft in the airspace as that had been cleared specifically for Bryant’s chopper to complete its journey without the risk of a midair collision.

And Lesourd said in the valley between the Santa Monica Mountains where it was flying before coming down, it would have struggled to fly above the fog by rising higher.
After climbing, tracking data shows the craft quickly jolted down to just 1,700 feet in what some experts say could have been an attempt to go under the fog – suggesting the pilot was unaware he was flying into a mountain range until too late.


Fans of Bryant demand new NBA logo ..

More than 800,000 fans have signed a petition to replace the NBA logo with an image of Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people in California on Sunday.

‘With the untimely and unexpected passing of the great Kobe Bryant please sign this petition in an attempt to immortalize him forever as the new NBA Logo,‘ read the Change.Org petition, which was posted by a Nick M. of Vancouver, British Columbia.

So far, the petition has over 800,000 signatures.

The current logo is a silhouette of fellow Lakers legend Jerry West, who expressed in the past that he would not mind if the logo was changed. The logo was designed by Alan Siegel. Except for a small change to the font, which was introduced in 2017, the NBA has used its iconic tri-color logo since 1971.

Kobe Bryant died alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others when his chopper crashed in Calabasas, about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles on Sunday.


BBNaija: Cee-c reacts to Khloe criticising Nigerians mourning Bryant’s death ..

Former Big Brother Naija housemate, Cynthia Nwadiora also known as Ceec has taken a swipe on her fellow housemate, Khloe, and many others who have criticised Nigerians that are mourning the tragic death of NBA Legend, Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna.

Koko in a post shared on her Instagram stories on Monday described Nigerians mourning Kobe as hypocrites. Read here.

In her reaction, Ceec took to her InstaSory saying it is ridiculous that in a time such as this people still feel the need to ”spew negativity.”


Update: O’Neal’s son shared Bryant’s last message ..

American basketballer Shareef O’Neal, who is Shaquille O’Neal’s son, has shared the message Kobe Bryant sent to him on the morning he died alongside his daughter and seven others in a helicopter crash.

Shaquille O’Neal’s Son, Shareef Shares The Last Message Kobe Bryant Sent Him Before He Died

At 8:19am, Kobe reached out to Shareef, writing, “You good fam?”

Unfortunately, Kobe Bryant never replied till his death.

Shaquille O’Neal’s Son, Shareef Shares The Last Message Kobe Bryant Sent Him Before He Died

At about 9:40am on the same day, Kobe’s chopper crashed, killing him and his daughter, Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant.

Shareef, whose father Shaquille was teammates with Kobe, has dedicated his Twitter account to remembering the late legend and his daughter Gigi


Kobe Bryant’s death: Toke Makinwa respond to criticizers..

A great number of people all over the world have put up posts to mourn NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and the other people who died in the helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.

However, some critics opposed the overwhelming show of pain, especially coming from those who never knew him personally and who didn’t celebrate him while he was alive. They accused those mourning him of hypocrisy and trying to do things because it’s trending.

Responding, Toke Makinwa, wrote: “Before you criticize people for mourning a legend they haven’t met or paying their respect to Kobe, before you comment foolishly, think about your life, your work, your message to the world and hope that when it’s your turn to go the world will feel your departure.”


How rockets react to Kobe Bryant’s death..

Just before the Rockets tipped off in Denver on Sunday, the team got news that NBA legend Kobe Bryant, along with his 13-year-old daughter and seven other people, were killed in a helicopter crash in Southern California.

After the Rockets lost to the Nuggets, players and head coach Mike D’Antoni were asked about the news.

Here’s what they said:

You know, he’s one of the greatest players to ever play the game and more importantly, just from what he’s meant for the youth basketball and in sports. I’ve got to be honest, I’m a competitor and obviously we cared about losing tonight. But I got to be honest with you, it just wasn’t on my mind when we lost the game. I go back to reality and the facts are we lost somebody that meant so much to all of us. And then you hear about his daughter, as a father. I have said many prayers for that family and I will continue to do so. It looked like he was the happiest he’s ever been. After basketball, he and Gigi’s relationship was, I mean, everybody saw it. That’s all he posted about. And this was tough, I don’t know how we played today. I would start thinking about the game and then it would just snap back into my mind. I don’t get to play tomorrow and I’m sure Utah would do a tribute and at this pain is not going away any time soon. You don’t have to be a basketball fan to feel this the most competitive athletes, iconic athletes. And honestly, to be completely honest, more so as a father, what he’s meant to that family. Vanessa and the kids and may he rest in peace. This is, this is tough.

I mean, this is devastating. And this one hurt to the core, to hear news like that before the game. It was tough to stay focused, it was, I mean, it was tough. It was I mean, it’s just tough to hear news like that before the game. Guy, you admire how you looked up to. And, you know, I just wish all the families they know they need all the support that they can get. I mean, all the support they get. That’s just the toughest. So devastated. That’s the toughest thing you could ever deal with. We even had the same agent, and talked to him as I was a rookie and worked out with him a few times and like I knew his family. So. You know, the best thing you know, after basketball, he’s showing that he was being a dad and being with his family. You know, his girls were playing basketball and so he was doing the things that he’s supposed to do. And for us to hear this news is. I’m telling you it hurts to the core.

Yeah, and I was pretty somber. It was before the game, you know, with devastating news is just as shook. A lot. Um, you know, obviously our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and Vanessa and the kids and just an unbelievable tragedy. Well, I mean, it’s just like with everybody. He’s one of the greatest players ever. An unbelievable competitor. I earned everything, every accolade he got, he earned. He just kept coming at you. There won’t be many like him, that’s for sure.


Check out some of Bryant’s Grammy honors you might have miss..

The Grammy Awards have included plenty of sincere and big tributes to Kobe Bryant on the day of the NBA star’s death, but there were many more subtle ones too.

Billy Ray Cyrus’ guitar had “#24,” Bryant’s number, on his guitar and Lil Nas X had a Bryant jersey draped over a chair at the beginning of their performance of “Old Town Road” during the Grammys on Sunday at Staples Center in Los Angeles, the arena where Bryant played most of his career.

Run-DMC member Joseph “Run” Simmons” held up a white Bryant Jersey during their performance of “Walk This Way” with Aerosmith.

And Lizzo, who dedicated the show to Bryant when she opened it with a performance, accepted the Grammy for best pop solo performance without invoking his name. She simply said that today she realized that after being lost in her own problems all week, she realized that “in an instant all of that can go away.”

Throughout the evening, the Los Angeles Lakers jerseys belonging to Bryant were illuminated as they hung inside the Staples Center.

A tribute to the late Nipsey Hussle also included tribute to Bryant. The tribute performance ended with DJ Khaled shouting out the names of Hussle along with those of Kobe Bryant and Bryant’s daughter Gianna.

Alicia Keys and Boyz II Men had everyone in tears right at the start of the Grammys with their tribute to Kobe Bryant.

The 41-year-old Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash just outside of Los Angeles earlier Sunday.



{Videos} Former Baseball captain, wife and daughter died together with Kobe in the helicopter..

Basketball superstar Kobe Bryant was among 9 people killed in a helicopter crash in California Sunday. We’ve also learned that a baseball coach, who played his college ball in Houston was also on that chopper.

Orange Coast College confirmed to the Orange County Register that John Altobelli was killed in the crash. Altobelli’s brother, Tony, is the sports information director at the school. He said his 56-year-old brother died along with his wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa, who was about 13 and played on the same basketball team as Bryant’s daughter, Gianna, the Associated Press reports.

According to the school’s website, Altobelli was in his 24th season there, which was longer than any other coach in school history.

As a player, Altobelli was an outfielder and two-year starter at the University of Houston in the 1980s. He was also a team captain. Altobelli earned his Bachelor of Science degree in physical education from UH and was also a graduate assistant at the school. He came to Houston after stints at Newport Harbor and Golden West College in the 80s.

Altobelli played one year of professional baseball with the Miami Marlins of the Florida State League.

Statement from University of Houston Vice President for Athletics Chris Pezman
“The Houston Athletics family is saddened today by the passing of John Altobelli. John served as a team captain for our baseball program during his time as a student-athlete at UH and worked tirelessly as a coach at Orange Coast College for the last 28 years, developing many players that had the opportunity to play for our university. Our thoughts and prayers will be with John’s family in the days ahead.”

Orange Coast College released a statement on the passing of Altobelli. It is below.
“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of Orange Coast College head baseball coach John Altobelli. He was a coach, a colleague, a mentor and a friend at OCC for 27 years.

John meant so much to not only Orange Coast College, but to baseball,” says Coast Athletic Director Jason Kehler. “He truly personified what it means to be a baseball coach. The passion that he put into the game, but more importantly his athletes, was second to none – he treated them like family. Our deepest condolences go out to the Altobelli family during this time of tragedy.”

Altobelli led the Pirates to numerous conference and state championship titles, notching more than 700 wins during his career and four state championships. In 2019, he was honored by the American Baseball Coaches Association as an ABCA/Diamond National Coach of the Year, a testament to his incredible work ethic and passion for the game. “Coach Alto” was a mentor to his players, often playing a key role in positioning student athletes to obtain scholarships to play at the four-year level.

“We have lost a member of our OCC family, and our hearts are broken,” says OCC President Angelica Suarez. “Coach Altobelli was a giant on our campus – a beloved teacher, coach, colleague and friend. This is a tremendous loss for our campus community.”

Orange Coast College asks the media and the public to respect the privacy of John’s family and friends during this difficult time. All media inquiries should be directed to Juan Gutierrez at (714) 432-5725 or jgutierrez@occ.cccd.edu”

We’re working to learn more about Altobelli and will post it here when we know it.