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Vanessa Bryant posts statement on deaths of Kobe, Gianna

Vanessa Bryant used her Instagram account Wednesday afternoon to "thank the millions of people who've shown support and love during this horrific time."

It was the first public statement she's made since the deaths of her husband Kobe and daughter Gianna.

"Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them," Bryant wrote. "We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri."

Kobe Bryant and Gianna were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash while flying to a basketball game Sunday morning.

The other passengers included John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sara Chester, Payton Chester and Christina Mauser. Ara Zobayan piloted the aircraft.

Gianna, Alyssa and Peyton were teammates.

John Altobelli was the head baseball coach at Orange Coast College.

Fans across the globe have spent much of the week mourning the NBA icon.

Vanessa Bryant concluded her statement by announcing the Mamba Sports Foundation would be accepting donations to benefit the families affected by the crash. Donors are asked to visit MambaOnThree.org.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.