Christina Mauser died in the helicopter crash that also killed Kobe Bryant. Her husband is now trying to 'navigate life with three kids and no mom.'

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Christina Mauser died in the helicopter crash that also killed Kobe Bryant. Her husband is now trying to 'navigate life with three kids and no mom.'

Kobe Bryant memorial Staples Center
  • Matt Mauser told "Today" show anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb that it's been "horrible" learning how to be a father to three young children who suddenly have no mother.
  • The pair were both teachers at Harbor Day School - a private school that Gianna Bryant attended - in Corona del Mar, California. That's where they met Kobe Bryant.
  • Bryant hired Christina Mauser to teach defense at Mamba Academy.
  • "You didn't choose Christina for any ordinary reason - she was extraordinary," Matt Mauser said.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Matt Mauser said he was "keeping it together" until "Today" show anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb mentioned the name of his wife.

Christina Mauser, 38, was aboard Kobe Bryant's private Sikorsky S-76 when it crashed in California on Sunday, killing all nine passengers.

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"Now I'm starting to lose it again," Matt Mauser said tearfully on Monday. "It's horrible. I got three small kids and am trying to figure out how to navigate life with three kids and no mom."

He said his "beautiful" and "smart" wife also had a sharp wit; she had a great ear and enjoyed imitating people. Christina Mauser exuded warmth and could understand people and pick up on their personalities after spending just a few minutes with them, her husband said.

"You didn't choose Christina for any ordinary reason - she was extraordinary," Matt Mauser said. 

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The pair were teachers at Harbor Day School - a private school that Gianna Bryant attended - in Corona del Mar, California. Matt Mauser was working as a Spanish teacher and basketball coach at the school when an injured Kobe Bryant asked if he could go on a field trip with him to San Diego. Christina Mauser was the team's assistant coach.

"I said, 'Hell yeah, you can come with me!'" he recalled.

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Bryant, who knew that Matt Mauser was a drummer in a band, asked him to produce all the music for his girls' podcast, called Punies.

Bryant then brought Christina Mauser on board to teach defense to Gianna Bryant's basketball team. She was soon dubbed the "Mother of Defense," Matt Mauser said.

"[Bryant] didn't pick her because she was a slouch, he picked her because she's amazing," he recalled. "And he saw what an amazing mind she had for basketball."

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He described how the people involved in the Mamba Academy banded together as a family and how Bryant and Christina Mauser, through their dedication to the girls, helped make them "gritty and tough."

On Sunday night, hours after learning that Christina Mauser wasn't returning home, Matt Mauser piled all three children, aged 3, 9 and 11 into his bed. Before that, he and his daughter turned on ESPN SportsCenter for two seconds.

"Everything was about how much everybody was mourning and hurting, and she said it was nice to know that everybody was hurting along with us," Matt Mauser said, his voice breaking. "I know that sounds odd but it did kind of help."

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