The husband of basketball coach Christina Mauser spoke about his "extraordinary" wife in the wake of her death at 38 in a helicopter crash on Sunday that also killed NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter.
Matt Mauser shared an emotional remembrance of his wife in a phone interview with Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb on TODAY Monday.
"She was extraordinary,'' he said. "She was incredibly witty, funny, funny like nobody you've ever met. ... She was warm, she was incredibly bright, she was technologically incredibly savvy. She could figure out anything."
Christina was also a loving mother to their three children.
"I got three small kids, and I'm trying to figure out how to navigate life with three kids and no mom,'' Mauser said. "I'm scared. I think more than anything I'm a little scared about the future."
The Mausers both taught at a small private school in Southern California that Bryant's daughters had attended.
Christina served as an assistant coach under Bryant on the travel team that included Bryant's daughter Gianna, who also was killed in the crash. They were traveling to a basketball game at Bryant's Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, when the crash occurred in Calabasas.
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Christina also coached with Matt at the private school, where Matt was the head coach of the girls basketball team.
"Kobe took these kids from private school and just made them gritty and tough,'' he said. "He was dedicated and so was my wife. They were dedicated to these girls."
Matt befriended Bryant while teaching Spanish at the school, and Bryant soon asked Christina to help coach his daughter's basketball team. She had a particular acumen in teaching zone defense, which Bryant had rarely played during his career.
"He saw what an amazing mind she had for basketball,'' he said. "They called her the 'Mother of Defense,' MOD. It was a family. They all really cared about each other."
Mauser and his children avoided the television on Sunday except for a brief look at ESPN's "SportsCenter" as the victims of the crash were mourned across the world.
"We watched 'SportsCenter' for two seconds and everything was about how much everybody was mourning and hurting and (my daughter) said it was nice to know that everybody was hurting along with us,'' he said. "I know that sounds odd, but that kind of helped."