'Heroes come and go, but legends are forever': Sheikh Hamdan pays tribute to Kobe Bryant who has died aged 41

The Dubai Crown Prince said former Los Angeles Lakers point guard 'carried an inspirational message to our youth'

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Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed has paid tribute to NBA legend Kobe Bryant who was killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Sunday morning.

The former Los Angeles Lakers point guard, widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, was one of nine people on board along with his daughter Gianna, 13, when it went down and a fire broke out. There were no survivors, local police said.

The Crown Prince of Dubai tweeted: "You carried an inspirational message to our youth in Dubai and helped them accomplish their dreams.

“Heroes come and go, but legends are forever” Kobe Bryant.

UAE basketball fans may well remember Bryant's trip to the country in September 2013.

Bryant visited schools in Abu Dhabi and Dubai to take coaching clinics and attend basketball matches to promote Kobe Bryant Health and Fitness Weekend.

Thousands of mourners gathered near the Staples Centre in Los Angeles to pay tribute to the basketball legend, a five-time NBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medallist with the USA.