Kobe Bryant Coaches Daughter Gianna's Basketball Team a Day Before Their Deaths in Touching Photos
Heartbreaking photos have emerged of Kobe Bryant coaching his daughter, Gianna’s team at a basketball game one day before their tragic deaths in a helicopter crash. The images highlight a close bond shared by the father-daughter duo.
Kobe was a devoted father who was very passionate about helping his daughter, fondly called Gigi, pursue her basketball passion. In their final hours, the two spent time doing what they did best.
Some of the final photos of Kobe and Gigi show them at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California. Per Daily Mail, Gigi was playing in the Mamba Cup Tournament Series while her dad coached the team.
Kobe’s helicopter flew through thick fog and appeared to encounter difficulty above the LA Zoo
One picture shows Kobe appearing to explain something to his daughter and her teammate while another shows him coming in for a fist-bump with the five-member team. Some of the images also show Gigi in her element on the hardcourt.
"He had a clipboard, he was drawing up plays and talking to [the players]," one person who was at the Academy told the New York Post. about Kobe. "He was a little bit animated at times, but it was in a very positive way."
Another witness added that Kobe "had really good energy with his daughter" throughout the day and that he was "just teaching a lot and took a few extra timeouts to explain things to the kids."
Kobe and his wife Vanessa had four daughters, and Gigi was the second. Of all her sisters, the 13-year-old showed the most interest in carrying on her father’s basketball legacy. As Hollywood Life noted, she already had plans of playing in the WNBA.
After retiring from the basketball league in 2016, Kobe has devoted more time to honing his daughter’s skills, mostly through the Mamba Sports Academy, which he founded.
In the days before their untimely deaths, Kobe shared several clips of Gigi showing off her basketball prowess. Many fans had been delighted to see her following in the footsteps of one of the greatest NBA stars of all time.
Unfortunately, Gigi's life was cut short on Sunday when she, her father, and seven other passengers lost their lives in a fiery helicopter crash. Ironically, the group had been on their way to another game at the Mamba Sports Academy.
Gigi’s teammate Alyssa Altobelli, her baseball coach dad John and mother Keri, were on the aircraft. Another teammate Payton Chester and her mom Sarah, also died, as did basketball coach Christina Mauser and the pilot Ara Zobayan. There were no survivors.
Investigations are still ongoing into the fatal crash, but Daily Mail reported that Kobe’s helicopter flew through thick fog and appeared to encounter difficulty above the LA Zoo when it circled at a very low altitude.
My heart continues to break.....Sarah and Payton Chester, John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli, Ara Zobayan, Christina Mauser, Kobe and Gianna Bryant....Rest in peace. Praying so hard for your families for peace and comfort.❤️❤️🙏🙏 pic.twitter.com/YvRjnRi7Qx— Viola Davis (@violadavis) January 27, 2020
Fans across the world are still mourning the loss of the retired Los Angeles Lakers icon and his daughter. Condolences and tributes have been pouring in, and memorials have been set up in several locations.
Kobe and Gigi are survived by his wife, Vanessa Bryant, and three daughters, Natalia, 17, three-year-old Bianka, and Capri, who was born last June. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the grieving families at this time.