Matt Mauser, the husband of Christina Mauser who was one of the 9 victims killed in the helicopter crash that also killed Kobe Bryant and his daughter, spoke out on television Tuesday.
I’m trying to navigate that. I’d walk in and she would call for mom… and now I walk in, she doesn’t call for her. I think she gets it, she knows we’re grieving.
The first day was brutal. I woke up this morning and I said, ‘I’m OK,’ and then I walked out and I started to cry. And then I saw my kids and I started to cry.
Per Mercury News,Christina Mauser served as Kobe Bryant’s hard-nosed, top assistant coach on their girls youth basketball team. But there was another side to the beloved wife and mother of three children.
“She was super tough but loving,” said Sammy Doucette, a fellow coach with Bryant’s Orange County-based Mambas club program.
Doucette recalled Mauser’s traits Monday following her death Sunday in a helicopter crash in Calabasas that also killed the Lakers legend, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and six others.
Mauser’s ability to balance being demanding and caring made her a trusted assistant for Bryant, who coached the highly-competitive eighth-grade team, which was scheduled to play Sunday at his Mamba Sports Academy in Newbury Park.
“She was really committed,” said Russ Davis, one of Bryant’s friends in the girls basketball scene, director of the Cal Swish program and the women’s coach at Vanguard University. “She did a good job.”
Doucette said Mauser, a former standout athlete at Edison High in Huntington Beach, and Bryant formed their connection after Mauser coached Gianna in basketball at Harbor Day School, a small private school in Corona del Mar.
One of Mauser’s children played on Doucette’s Mambas team for sixth and seventh graders while Mauser coached defense among other skills with the older team.
“She was really intense,” said Orangewood Academy girls basketball coach Leslie Aragon, who observed Mauser coaching with the Mambas. “I can see why Kobe liked her.”
Doucette, also the women’s coach at Orange Coast College, said she and Mauser viewed coaching with Bryant and the Mambas as “an opportunity of a lifetime.” Mauser had coached with the club for about the 1 1/2 years and was no longer at Harbor Day, Doucette said.
“There’s only 10 girls in the world coached by Kobe Bryant,” Doucette said of the five-time NBA champion. “Everything he said was something that you wanted to write down.”