Public memorial for Kobe Bryant scheduled for Feb. 24 at Staples Center

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LOS ANGELES -- A memorial service for Kobe Bryant and the other eight people killed in a January helicopter crash will be held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 24, a source close to the basketball legend's family said Thursday.

The date 2/24 could be viewed as symbolic as Bryant wore No. 24 during the latter part of his illustrious NBA career and his daughter Gianna wore No. 2 for her youth basketball teams.

Gianna, 13, also was killed when the helicopter, headed to a basketball tournament, crashed on a foggy Sunday morning. The other victims were Gianna's teammates Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester; Alyssa's parents, John and Keri; Payton's mother, Sarah; assistant girls basketball coach Christina Mauser; and helicopter pilot Ara Zobayan.

The memorial event, which falls on a Monday, is between two Lakers home games.

But the Staples Center is also home to the Los Angeles Clippers NBA team. Because they are currently scheduled to host Memphis on the evening of February 24, the memorial will likely take place during the day.

An area in front of Staples Center, until recently, was the site of a massive fan memorial comprising flowers, jerseys and other other mementos. The arena seats about 20,000 people for concerts.

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