February 07, 2020
Vanessa Bryant continues to remember her loved ones after their tragic deaths. The heartbroken mom devoted a heartfelt post to her late daughter, Gianna, shortly after paying tribute to her deceased husband, Kobe.
No words can begin to express the amount of pain Vanessa must be going through right now. Kobe Bryant's widow has been channeling some of those emotions into social media posts, including a recent one dedicated to Gianna, fondly called Gigi.
Vanessa took to Instagram on Wednesday with a photo from Gigi's jersey retirement ceremony at Harbor Day School in Newport Beach. The snapshot, taken in the school gym, featured a TV screen with a smiling photo of Gigi.
The new logo features Kobe's Los Angeles Lakers' jersey numbers, 8 and 24, as well as Gigi's Number 2.
The school also put up red heart balloons alongside pink-and-red floral arrangements that read "GIANNA" and number "2." The latter was in honor of Gigi's basketball jersey number at her father's Mamba Sports Academy.
"My Gianna. God, I miss you," Vanessa's heartbreaking caption read. "I've been so lucky to have woken up to see your gorgeous face and amazing smile for 13 years. Wish it would've been until my last breath."
The former video model, who is still a mom to her and Kobe's three other daughters, went on to declare her undying love for Gigi. "Mommy loves you to the moon and back," she added alongside a hashtag of the late teenager's nickname, Mambacita.
Vanessa later shared a picture of Gigi's framed jersey and a clip of one school official unveiling the frame in front of other students. The proud mom then praised her daughter for teaching the virtue of kindness in her the short time she lived.
Gigi, 13, and Kobe, 41, died in a helicopter crash on January 26. The father-daughter duo was headed to a basketball game with six other people who, along with the pilot, all died in the accident.
Vanessa, 37, broke her silence for the first time last week with a touching post about how devastated their family is in the wake of Kobe and Gigi's deaths. According to PEOPLE, an insider also revealed she's still trying to process the tragedy.
"The shock hasn't entirely worn off," the source reportedly said about Vanessa. "She's very tired; she hasn't been sleeping. She's worried about her girls, worried about what happens next."
Vanessa's tribute to Gigi came hours after she remembered her "best friend," Kobe, in another Instagram post. The former couple met on the set of a music video when she was just 17 and had been married since 2001.
Vanessa confessed in her caption that she was missing the late NBA legend "so much," describing him in a series of hashtags as "sweet," "funny," "the best daddy" to their daughters and a "loving husband."
That same day, CNN reported, Kobe's Mamba Sports Academy unveiled a commemorative new logo that will be worn as a patch on Team Mamba's youth team uniforms. The design pays tribute to all members of the academy who lost their lives in the crash.
The new logo features Kobe's Los Angeles Lakers' jersey numbers, 8 and 24, as well as Gigi's Number 2. It also includes the numbers 14 and 5 in honor of Gigi's teammates Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester, who were also on the chopper.
Finally, the commemorative patch featured the initials CM for Christina Mauser, the girls' basketball coach who worked alongside Kobe to train the youth league.
Alyssa's parents, John and Keri Altobelli, Payton's mom Sarah Chester, and the helicopter pilot Ara Zobayan, also lost their lives in the devastating crash.