Christina Mauser's Husband Says Their Daughter Almost Boarded Helicopter With Kobe Bryant

Christina Mauser's husband revealed that he stopped their daughter from flying on the helicopter with Kobe and Gianna Bryant, ultimately saving her life.

By Cydney Contreras Jan 27, 2021 3:25 AMTags
Watch: Remembering Kobe Bryant's Journey: E! News Rewind

Matt Mauser is thankful for all he has, a year after his wife Christina Mauser perished in a helicopter crash with Gianna and Kobe Bryant on Jan. 26, 2020.

On the one-year anniversary of the tragic accident, the musician hosted Concert for Christina: A Musical Tribute Benefiting the Christina Mauser Foundation. With the help of a band, Matt sang some of her favorite songs, including "Lovely Day" by Bill Withers.

He also performed a song with their daughter Penny, 12, who he said nearly boarded the helicopter that fateful day. 

Matt shared the heartbreaking story, explaining that he had booked a concert for Jan. 26 and had asked Christina if Penny could skip the basketball tournament she was scheduled to compete in to perform with him instead. He recalled telling Christina, "Well, I have a show and she's been feeling well so I don't want her to go because she's going to be performing this song."

"We never looked back," he continued. "We don't think about whether or not fate had a different direction for us. We just stick with what we know."

Kobe Bryant's Family Album

Matt, who stood onstage with Penny, said that he is "so thankful to have my beautiful daughter, who looks so much like her mom, here with us."

The father-daughter duo then sang the original song "Green Bike," a happy tune about Penny's independence streak. 

Courtesy of Today Show

Matt's concert not only helped keep his wife's memory alive, it also raised funds for the Christina Mauser foundation, which provides scholarships and financial aid for female athletes.

Christina was a coach at Kobe's Mamba Sports Academy located in Thousands Oaks, Calif., the same place that the helicopter was en route to for a tournament last January. 

The Mauser family founded the organization last year as a way to honor the basketball coach and to process their grief. 

Matt told People that losing the mother of three was difficult, but time has helped them heal. "We're doing better in the sense that we're finding joy just being together," he shared. "We're by no means good, but we're definitely better."


Vanessa Bryant also marked the anniversary of her husband and daughter's deaths, remarking on her Instagram that it "still doesn't seem real." 

"I miss my baby girl and Kob-Kob so much, too," she shared. "I will never understand why/how this tragedy could've happened to such beautiful, kind and amazing human beings."

John, Keri and Alyssa AltobelliPayton and Sarah Chester, and helicopter pilot Ara Zobayan also died in the crash.