Sports agent Scott Boras told the Los Angeles Times that he will honor Lakers great Kobe Bryant’s wishes and create an internship for Alexis Altobelli, the 16-year-old daughter of late Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli.
Altobelli died with his wife, Keri, and 14-year-old daughter, Alyssa, along with Bryant, his daughter Gianna and four other people in a helicopter crash Jan. 26.
Pelinka said he was in church Jan. 26 when he received a text message from Kobe Bryant, who wanted to know if he could help him contact “a certain baseball agent based in Southern California.” Bryant wanted to recommend Alexis for an internship at the agent’s office.
While Bryant was texting Pelinka, he and the others in the group were on the helicopter ride that would end their lives. They were on the way to a girls’ basketball game at Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy in Thousands Oaks when the copter crashed into a hillside in Calabasas.
“Kobe’s last human act was heroic,” Pelinka said. “He wanted to use his platform to bless and a shape a young girl’s future.”
Boras said that within days of Bryant’s death, he was contacted by Pelinka, whom he had met recently at a Lakers game.
Boras was a longtime acquaintance of John Altobelli. The agent said the coach always offered help but never asked for anything in return. When Boras’ client Dallas Keuchel, a major-league pitcher, was a free agent after the 2019 baseball season started, the former Cy Young Award winner built his arm strength by pitching simulated games against Altobelli’s Orange Coast College players.
Boras’ sons were youth baseball players in Orange County around the same time as Altobelli’s son, J.J., who played in college at Oregon and is now a scout with the Boston Red Sox.
Boras and Bryant were part of the same congregation at Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Newport Beach. Boras said they spoke from time to time but never exchanged phone numbers.
Before John Altobelli died, Boras had invited him and Alexis to tour the Boras Corp. office in Newport Beach, home city of the Bryant and Altobelli families. Boras said a plan was already in place for them to figure out how Alexis could gain experience working there.
Bryant wanted to be a character reference for her.
Boras has been in contact with J.J. Altobelli and will create a position for Alexis, who will be able to rotate through the company’s various departments, including marketing, baseball operations, sports science and office administration.
Dylan Hernández writes for the Los Angeles Times. Daily Pilot staff contributed to this report.