July 22, 2020
NCAA champion at UConn Gabby Williams is all set to wear special Nike sneakers on the court when the WNBA kicks off and it is a tribute to the late daughter of Vanessa and Kobe Bryant's daughter, Gianna.
The WNBA and NBA have been planning out the ways they will use their seasons in Florida to take a stand for broader social issues.
Meanwhile, Gabby Williams, a two-time NCAA champion at UConn, revealed photos of the kicks that she will be wearing on the court when the WNBA kicks off on July 24, and they are no ordinary shoes.
REMEMBERING THE PRODIGY
The special Nike sneakers are a tribute to Gianna Bryant, the daughter of late basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his wife Vanessa. Williams shared a couple of pictures of it on her Instagram.
Williams remembers Gianna as someone who was sweet and adorable.
Vannessa reposted William's Instagram post on her Instagram. Gianna had planned to play at UConn in a few years. Williams was ger favorite WNBA player and she had developed a close relationship with her over the years.
Vanessa Bryant reposts Gabby Williams' photo featuring special Nike sneakers dedicated to late Gianna Bryant. | Source: Instagram/vanessabryant
GIANNA WANTED TO BE LIKE GABBY
Williams and Gianna first met on November 21, 2017, when the Connecticut women’s team routed UCLA 78-60. Williams remembers Gianna as someone who was sweet and adorable. Remembering what meeting her for the first time was like during an interview with "Chicago Tribune," Williams said:
"She had the biggest smile on her face and was so excited to meet our team and we were trying to stay composed with Kobe being there."
Gianna was also a fan of Williams' teammate Katie Lou Samuelson. Williams told the "Chicago Tribune" that she could not believe it when Kobe told her that she was his daughter's favorite. She said:
"Obviously, that was a surreal moment for me for multiple reasons. The biggest one being that Kobe thought of me or paid that much attention to my game."
After Gianna and Kobe's tragic deaths, Williams knew that she was going to pay tribute to her in some way. She had never seen someone her age so determined to be a student of basketball.
Williams feels like Gianna was going to be heaps better than her at basketball. Although walking in her father's footsteps and living up to him would be tough, she was not discouraged at all and embraced it.