Christina Mauser, a girls basketball coach at Kobe Bryant's basketball academy, was one of the nine victims who passed away in the recent helicopter crash.
While the nation mourns the loss of basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant, there are several families across the United States who are mourning the loss of their near and dear ones. One such family is the Mausers. Christina Mauser, a basketball coach, was, unfortunately, one of the victims of the same horrific helicopter crash. She has sadly left behind a husband and three children, all of whom are unsure about how to move on from this tragedy. The mother would have celebrated her toddler's fourth birthday next week had she been alive, CNN reports.
"I'm trying to navigate that," husband Matt Mauser told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Tuesday night. "I'd walk in and [our daughter] would call for mom... And now I walk in, she doesn't call for her. I think she gets it, she knows we're grieving." The last few days have been, as one would assume, an incredibly difficult rollercoaster ride for the Mauser family, he revealed. Some moments, nonetheless, have been better than others. Matt continued, "The first day was brutal. I woke up this morning and I said, 'I'm OK,' and then I walked out and I started to cry. And then I saw my kids and I started to cry." Christina's brother Matthew Patterson is also in mourning, a deeply agonizing process. "It's just completely crushing. Every ounce of my being is destroyed," he explained to CNN's Chris Cuomo on Tuesday as well. "She was the best - the best player, the best human, everything."
Christina's children have thus far also had a hard time coping. "My son... he has outbursts... I hold him and I hug him and I kiss him," husband Matt shared. "I give him a hug for mom and a hug for me. I just cope, day-by-day." It has been especially trying for her oldest daughter, who played in athlete Bryant's basketball academy, where she was recruited to help coach. Her daughter played on a team known as the "Little Mambas," whereas she coached a different team, the one which Bryant's 13-year-old daughter played on. Christina, in addition to being a loving, caring mother, was a talented and dedicated coach.
That is one of the reasons she will be missed by the faculty and student body at Harbor Day School, a private K-8 school in Corona del Mar, California, where she coached from 2007 to 2018. In an official statement, the school affirmed, "An outstanding basketball coach and player, Mrs. Mauser helped lead Harbor Day's eighth-grade girls' team to their first-ever championship. She was a loving wife, mother, educator, and friend to many." Her husband, too, confirmed her skill as a basketball player. He claimed it was one of the reasons Bryant took notice of her in the first place. "Kobe had seen her skill. Kobe was incredible at recognizing talent," husband Matt stated. "When we started dating, I have a basketball hoop in my front yard ... I thought I was pretty good and I got on the driveway with her and I had never experienced anything like Christina. She was quick, strong, powerful, she could dribble in, penetrate, come back, and shoot. [She also had] a deadly three-pointer."
But of all the things Matt will miss, he will miss the little things the most. He said, "My wife was not just focused on the big things, my wife was focused on the little things... [Her] attention to detail about what kind of foods to give to our kids, how she would research every disease that's out there... She was relentless and organized and detailed." The United States may have lost a great athlete this week, but a family lost a devoted mother and several students their hardworking mentor.