The husband of Christina Mauser, a coach killed in the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash, spoke out about the loss of his wife during a Monday interview on the “TODAY” show.
Christina was one of 9 people, including Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, who died in the crash that landed in Calabasas, California.
“It’s horrible,” said Matt, choking back a wave of tears as he shared there were “no words” to capture the shock and weight of his grief. “I got three small kids and am trying to figure out how to navigate life with three kids and no mom.”
The three beautiful children Christina left behind are ages three, nine, and eleven.
Both Christina and Matt were teachers working at the private school that Kobe Bryant’s daughters were enrolled in. Matt explained that his wife was the assistant basketball coach and he was the head coach when Kobe’s keen eye took notice of “what an amazing mind” Christina had for the game. Wasting no time at all, the Lakers legend swooped Christina up, asking her to be a part of his coaching team.
“He quickly realized that my wife who was the assistant coach was a much better coach than I was, and he brought her on and changed our lives,” Matt told NBC News. “She loved every minute of it.”
“He asked her to teach the kids defense,” he added, explaining that Kobe said it wasn’t Matt’s strong suit. “They called her the mother of defense.”
Kobe personally selected the 38-year-old defense queen for 13-year-old Gianna’s Mamba Academy basketball team.
“He picked her because she was amazing,” said Matt. “I was so proud of her and she was so happy.”
“She was beautiful, smart, funny,” the grieving husband doted. “She was incredibly deep … just an amazing person.”
Matt said that he and his family have attempted to avoid watching the news that is flooded with stories surrounding the tragedy. However, he noticed a ray of hope and consolation shine through when his daughter said it was “nice to know everyone was hurting along with us,” while watching SportsCenter Sunday night.
“I feel for everybody involved and everybody who is hurting right now,” he empathized. “Because as hard as it is for us, I know it’s hard for everybody else too.”