Niagara Falls will shine in purple and gold on Monday in memory of former Los Angeles Lakers basketball star Kobe Bryant.
The Niagara Falls Illumination Board made the announcement Tuesday. Both the American and Canadian Horseshoe Falls will be bathed in purple and yellow light from 9 to 9:30 p.m. Monday.
Joining the public memorial taking place at Staples Center in Los Angeles that day for Bryant and the eight others killed in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, the special illumination will honor Bryant, who is best known for his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Also killed in the crash were Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna; John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli; and Sarah and Payton Chester; Christina Mauser and Ara Zobayan, who were on their way to a basketball tournament at Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Gianna’s team was coached by Bryant.
The date of the memorial, 2/24, has some sentimental significance: It’s the combination of Gianna’s and Kobe’s jersey numbers, respectively.
All special illumination requests are reviewed and approved by the Niagara Falls Illumination Board, which has financed and operated the “illumination of Niagara Falls” since 1925. The board is made up of representatives of the cities of Niagara Falls in Ontario and New York, Ontario Power Generation Inc., New York Power Authority, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and The Niagara Parks Commission.