Illinois previously owned helicopter in crash that killed Kobe Bryant

CHICAGO, Illinois -- The state of Illinois previously owned the helicopter that crashed while carrying NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others Sunday, killing all passengers on board.

The state sold the helicopter, Chopper N72EX, to its current owner in 2015, according to an aviation safety website. The holding company is called Island Express Holding Corp.

Basketball enthusiasts around the nation are mourning the Lakers legend.

RELATED: Kobe Bryant, daughter among 9 dead in helicopter crash
EMBED More News Videos

NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash in Southern California on Sunday, his sudden death at age 41 touching off an outpouring of grief for a star whose celebrity transcended basketball.

Mamba fans are recalling the moment they learned the basketball great was gone.

"We had grown men inside Nike today crying," said Darryl Wakefield. "I mean that's how bad it was."

"I couldn't believe it. I thought it was fake. I didn't think it was real. I didn't want it to be real. It was just horrible," said George Antzoulatos.

He was an inspiration to many for his talents on and off the basketball court.

Fans said his passing is a reminder that tomorrow isn't promised.

"Life is precious. Don't take anything for granted," Antzoulatos said.
Copyright © 2020 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.