Real Housewives of Orange County star Shannon Beador also pays tribute as she reveals her family's connection to the tragedy.
The morning after losing his wife, Christina Mauser, in a helicopter crash, Matt Mauser spoke with "Today" about the tragic loss, their family and their relationship with both Kobe and Gigi Bryant, who also died in the accident.
Mauser was an assistant coach for Gigi's Mamba Sports Academy team and, the way Matt tells it, was selected by Kobe to help teach them defense.
In addition to her husband, Christina is survived by the couple's three children, ages 3, 9 and 11.
"I was keeping it together until you said her name. I guess I'm going as good as we can expect," he said while calling into the morning show. "It's horrible. I got three small kids and trying to figure out how to navigate life with three kids and no mom."
When asked how he's feeling, Matt said, "I'm scared, I think, more than anything, I'm a little scared about the future."
He then said he'd like to talk about his wife, calling her "extraordinary."
"[Kobe] didn't choose Christina for just any ordinary reason. She was extraordinary. She was incredibly witty, incredibly witty," he continued. "Funny. Funny like nobody you’ve ever met, she could imitate anybody, she had a great ear. She was warm. She was incredibly bright. She was technologically incredibly savvy, she could figure out anything."
He went on to call her warm, incredibly deep, beautiful and an all around "amazing person." Of Bryant, he added, "He picked her because she was amazing. He saw what an amazing mind she had for basketball."
According to Matt, his wife's nickname was the "MOD," or "Mother of Defense." He went on to say every person aboard the helicopter was "amazing ... in their own right."
"I knew them well, they were wonderful, they were warm, they loved their kids and they were so proud their kids were growing," he said. "Kobe took these kids from private schools and made them gritty and tough. He was dedicated and so was my wife. They were dedicated to these girls."
Mauser noted that his family didn't watch much of the news coverage on Sunday, but his daughter made a heartbreaking comment when she turned on "SportsCenter" for a few moments.
"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,'' he said. "I know that sounds odd, but that does kind of help."
"Christina Mauser. An incredible coach and amazing influence on all three of my daughters that played basketball in middle school," wrote Shannon on Instagram. "And amazing mother of 3 children. Our greatest sympathies go out to @sinatrabigband and his family. The Beador girls are devastated. Sending our prayers to the Mauser family."
John Altobelli, his wife Keri and their daughter Alyssa were also aboard the helicopter when it crashed. Sarah Chester and teenage daughter Payton Chester, as well as the pilot, Ara Zobayan, were also killed.