On Monday, February 24, 2020, a public memorial service was held for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna at the Staples Center. To honor the late athletes, the stage was adorned with red roses.
The public memorial that was held for the late athletes was called "A Celebration of Life for Kobe and Gianna Bryant" service. Kobe and his daughter, Gianna "Gigi," 13, were honored in Los Angeles.
The Staples Center is where Kobe played the majority of his 20-year professional basketball career. The stage was decorated with 33,643 roses which represented each point the athlete had scored in his NBA career.
Kobe Bryant holds his daughter Gianna while standing next to her mother Vanessa after Game Five of the NBA Finals on June 14, 2009, in Orlando, Florida | Photo: Chris Elise/NBAE/Getty Images
Those who attended the emotional event received T-shirts that featured images of Kobe, 41, and Gianna as well as a program. According to “Stadium,” the NBA star’s wife, Vanessa, gave a touching speech at the memorial.
She remembered her late husband and daughter saying: "God knew they couldn't be on this Earth without each other. He had to bring them home to heaven together." Kobe and his daughter passed away in a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020.
The athletes died along with seven others namely, Alyssa, John, and Keri Altobelli. Payton, and Sarah Chester, Christina Mauser and the pilot Ara Zobayan.
It's still hard for them to grasp they lost two beautiful souls
Before the event, Vanessa took to Instagram to explain that the date of the ceremony had a huge significance to her and her family. The number 2 was Gianna’s jersey number.
Her jersey was retired by her school earlier this month during a ceremony at Harbor Day School in Corona del Mar, California. The number 24 was Kobe’s jersey from the 2006 to 2007 season until his retirement.
The no. 20 was Kobe’s number years in his career playing for the Los Angeles Lakers and the number of years he and his wife were together. On February 7, 2020, a private funeral was held for Kobe and Gianna at Pacific View Memorial Park in Corona Del Mar.
According to a source, the NBA player’s wife had wanted a private ceremony for them to “mourn their loss." The insider further stated: "The ceremony was extremely hard for everyone as it's still hard for them to grasp they lost two beautiful souls."
Kobe and Gianna’s jerseys were draped on the seats that the pair had last sat on at Staples Center, before the Lakers' game against the Portland Trail Blazers on January 31, 2020. Red rose bouquets were also placed on both seats.
The last game the father and daughter duo attended together was on December 29, 2019, when the Lakers faced the Dallas Mavericks. The legendary NBA star is survived by his wife and their other three children: Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7-months.
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