Celebrity News May 01, 2023
Vanessa Bryant Pays Tribute to Late Daughter Gigi Bryant on Her Birthday
Vanessa Bryant honored her late daughter Gigi Bryant on what would have been her 17th birthday.
In several Instagram posts, Vanessa celebrated Gigi, who died in a helicopter crash with her dad Kobe Bryant in 2020.
“Happy birthday, sweet Gigi! We love you to the moon and back infinity +1. Forever & Always,” Vanessa wrote alongside a photo in which Gigi is seen with sisters, Natalia, 20, and Bianka, 6.
Another tribute captioned, “Happy 17th birthday, baby girl,” features a photo of Gigi cheerfully smiling on a carousel, and one of her walking. "I love you and miss you so much, sweet Angel."
Vanessa also posted a video montage paying homage to Gigi’s legacy with messages from athletes and friends from the basketball community on what it means for them to “play Gigi’s way.”
“Playing Gigi’s way is always the willingness to improve, playing not selfish, playing with joy, and always try to be the best version of yourself,” NBA player and friend Giannis Antetokounmpo says.
Vanessa started the birthday celebrations for Gigi a few days ago with an April 29 Instagram post featuring custom Nike sneakers in a box engraved with “Mambacita” and a drawing of angel wings with a halo. A jersey with “Gigi 2” printed on it was also photographed alongside the shoes, which benefit Mamba and Mambacita Sports, a charity sports foundation to further Kobe and Gigi’s legacies.
Gigi and Kobe were killed along with eight other people when their private helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California, while on their way to a teenage basketball tournament at Kobe's Mamba Sports Academy.
In March of this year, Vanessa and the couple’s surviving daughters, Natalia, Bianka and Capri, 3, honored the late NBA legend at the unveiling of his handprints and footprints outside TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles.
During the ceremony, Natalia gave a touching tribute to the basketball star, whose imprints were originally made in 2011.
“He is the MVP of girl dads, to say the least,” Natalia said during her speech. “Being a dad to four girls is definitely not easy, but despite the NBA and Laker schedules, he always made sure to support me and my sisters… at our recitals, games, tournaments, and any monumental moment.”
While celebrity imprints are typically swapped out over time, Kobe’s will be permanent. He is also the first NBA player to have his handprints and footprints displayed in Hollywood.