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Vanessa Bryant Congratulates Late Daughter Gianna on What Would Be Her 8th Grade Graduation

Junie Sihlangu
Jun 08, 2020
06:48 A.M.

Vanessa Bryant, the mother of the late Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, took to social media to congratulate her daughter for being part of the 2020 graduation class. The wife of Kobe Bryant, 41, wrote a loving message for her daughter to celebrate the achievement.

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Gianna, 13, might be gone but her mother, Vanessa, 38, has definitely not forgotten her. The teenager would’ve been celebrating her eighth-grade graduation with the rest of her class.

Vanessa took to her Instagram account on June 5, 2020, and honored her daughter’s milestone sharing an image of white flowers arranged to look like a frame. In the middle, her daughter’s full names were written: “Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant.”

Vanessa and Kobe Bryant and their children at the premiere of "A Wrinkle In Time" on February 26, 2018, in Los Angeles, California | Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Vanessa and Kobe Bryant and their children at the premiere of "A Wrinkle In Time" on February 26, 2018, in Los Angeles, California | Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images

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VANESSA’S MESSAGE TO GIANNA

The widow captioned the post with a heartfelt message to her daughter: “Congratulations on your 8th grade graduation Gigi.” She added: “I love you forever and always. I’m so proud of you.”

The post also included a red heart emoticon and the hashtag “class of 2020.” The parent lost her daughter and husband on January 26, 2020, in a tragic helicopter crash.

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WHO DIED IN THE CRASH

John Altobelli, his wife Keri, and their daughter Alyssa, all died in the crash as well. Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton Chester, Christina Mauser, and the pilot, Ara Zobayan were also part of the fatalities on the day.

Altobelli was the head baseball coach at the Orange Coast College. Vanessa and Kobe were also parents to daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 11-months-old.

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VANESSA’S LAWSUIT

The late basketball player’s wife filed for a wrongful death lawsuit after her family members passed away in the crash. In response, the pilot’s brother, Berge Zobayan, claimed the passengers were responsible for the helicopter accident.

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FIGHTING THE LAWSUIT

Berge claimed that Kobe knew the risks of flying. Berge, who is representing his late brother in the case, argued that the NBA star’s family members were not rightfully allowed to receive damages from the pilot's estate.

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FINDING A SURPRISE NOTE

Ahead of Vanessa’s recent birthday, she discovered a heart-wrenching card from her late husband. The note was addressed, “To: The Love of my Life," “From, Tu Papi.”

Vanessa Bryant's graduation note to late daughter Gianna on June 5, 2020 | Photo: Instagram/vanessabryant

Vanessa Bryant's graduation note to late daughter Gianna on June 5, 2020 | Photo: Instagram/vanessabryant

CARRYING ON KOBE’S LEGACY

Vanessa revealed that she planned on opening the note on her birthday. Gianna was already following in her father’s footsteps when it came to playing basketball professionally.

She was set to carry on his legacy.

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