Hundreds of fans have poured into a local high school today to pay their respects to basketball legend and beloved hometown hero, Kobe Bryant.

Fans are gathering outside of the Bryant Gymnasium at Lower Merion High School in Montgomery County. They are leaving flowers, basketballs, jerseys and more as a tribute grows outside of the school:

A representative for the district, Amy Buckman, addressed reporters outside of the school gymnasium Sunday afternoon.

"The Lower Merion school community is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of our most illustrious alumni, Kobe Bryant," she said in a prepared statement. "Mr. Bryant's connection to Lower Merion high school, where he played basketball prior to joining the NBA has raised the profile of our high school and our district throughout the world."

Bryant was a superstar basketball player at the high school, and he helped lead the team to a state championship in 1996.

Bryant once said that “Lower Merion and everything associated with it made me who I am.”

"Aces nation has lost its heartbeat," Bryant's coach at the high school, Greg Downer, said in the prepared statement read during the school district's press conference.

NBC10 has more reaction from Lower Merion High School today by clicking here. 

We have more on his history at Lower Merion High School on the PST app and WPST.com. Including memories of Kobe’s senior prom, which he attended with musician/actress, Brandy.

Kobe Bryant was traveling in a helicopter on his way to his daughter’s basketball practice when it crashed in Calabasas, California.

All of the passengers in the crash were pronounced dead on the side. Kobe’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, was among the victims.

The cause of the crash was not made clear immediately, but we have more details on the crash here.

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