U of O to honor family of former baseball player after tragic California helicopter crash

Photo provided to KPTV.

EUGENE, OR (KPTV) – The University of Oregon baseball program will honor the Altobelli family after three family members died in a tragic helicopter crash in California earlier this year.

Former Oregon Ducks baseball player J.J. Altobelli lost his father, stepmother, and his 14-year-old sister in the accident, which claimed the lives of nine people, including Kobe Bryant.

The program says it plans to honor the family throughout the 2020 season, observing 14 seconds of silence before their season opener in Arizona on Friday and before their first home game on Feb. 21.

John Altobelli was the head baseball coach at Orange Coast College. Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and his daughter, Alyssa, were heading to a basketball game with Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, when the helicopter crashed. Alyssa and Gianna played on a basketball team together, according to authorities.

The university says players will wear a decal with three sets of initials (JA, KA, AA) on their batting helmets throughout the season. They will also recognize the family at a home game later this season with J.J., his fiancé, Carly, and his 16-year old sister, Lexi, in attendance.

Two funds have been set up to help support the family financially. Donations can be made at the following links:

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.


Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.