Kobe Bryant’s two younger daughters are Bianka Bella and Capri Kobe. Capri was named after her father, and was only a few months old at the time of his death on January 26, 2020. Bryant’s second-oldest daughter, Gianna, was killed in the same helicopter crash that claimed his life. His oldest daughter, Natalia, turned 17 years old a week before the crash.
Bianka, called “B.B.” by her father, is three years old. Capri, called “Koko” by her father, was born on June 20, 2019.
Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s wife, spoke out publicly about the tragic death of her husband and their 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, on January 30. She wrote in part,
My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.
We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately.
There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon.
I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever.
Here’s what you need to know about Kobe’s youngest two daughters, Bianka and Capri:
Bianka & Capri, Through the Years: Kobe’s Youngest Daughters Were Born After He Retired [PHOTOS]
In 2003, Bryant spoke with Jet Magazine about being a new father to his first daughter, Natalia, who was three months old when he gave the interview.
Of fatherhood and being a husband, Bryant said, “I’ve learned how to be patient. Patience and listening, you must have those in a relationship [and to be a good father].”
Over the course of the next 17 years, Bryant and his longtime wife would have three more daughters together.
In an interview in the fall of 2019, after his fourth daughter had been born, Bryant revealed to Extra that Capri had been their “best baby” so far. He said, “She has been our best baby. She sleeps like six hours. She’s an absolute sweetheart.”
When asked whether he and Vanessa would try for a boy, Bryant replied, “It’s Vanessa’s decision to make. She wants a boy more than I do. I’m comfortable having girls. It drives her crazy when I say that — she says, ‘We’re gonna get five girls ’cause you spoke it to existence.'”
In an ABC News interview in 2019, Bryant explained how being a father to all daughters had changed him as a man. While promoting a new children’s book called Legacy and the Queen, about a young girl who plays tennis, he said, “I have four girls at home … It’s important that they see characters that look like them, and that they see athletes.”
Bryant continued with a smile, “They get tired of my voice, of [me saying], ‘Be persistent, work hard, believe in yourself.’ They’re kind of like, ‘Okay, Dad, I get it.’ So when I can put them into stories like that, hopefully they’ll get that same message without hearing it [from their dad] all the time.”
None of the Bryant daughters have had their own social media accounts, at least not any publicly known ones. Even Natalia, 17, seems to avoid social media, though both of her parents’ accounts are filled with photos of her.
In the week following Bryant’s death, a particular news clip went viral, in which ESPN’s Elle Duncan told a story which detailed, in her mind, just what Bryant prioritized the most in his life: being a father to girls.
Duncan said that Bryant told her once, “Girls are amazing. I would have five more girls if I could. I’m a girl dad.”
Holding back tears, Duncan continued, “When I reflect on this tragedy and that half hour I spent with Kobe Bryant two years ago, I suppose the only small source of comfort for me is knowing he died doing what he loved the most: being a dad. Being a girl dad.”
You can watch the full video here.
Given the circumstances around the tragic death of Bryant, Gianna, and seven others, many have wondered why Bryant was in a helicopter to begin with. The answer apparently, has to do with his family.
In 2018, Bryant explained that this mode of transportation was the only way that allowed him to put the work into his game, while he was still playing, and to also spend time with his family. He said to Alex Rodriguez and Dan Katz, “I winded up missing a school play because I was sitting in traffic [one time]…This thing just kept mounting. And I had to figure out a way where I could still train and focus on the craft, but still not compromise family time.”
Bryant continued, “So that’s when I looked into helicopters, and be able to get down and back in 15 minutes. And that’s when it started.”
Bryant went on to explain his routine: “Weights early in the morning, kids to school, fly down, practice like crazy, do my extra work, media, everything I needed to do, fly back, get back in the carpool line, pick the kids up.”
“And my wife was like ‘listen, I can pick them up,'” Bryant added. “I’m like ‘no no no — I wanna do that.’ Because you know, you have road trips and times where you don’t see your kids, man. So like every chance I get to see them and spend time with them — even if it’s 20 minutes in the car — I want that.”
A few days after news of Bryant’s tragic death, TMZ obtained footage of some of the last public hours of his life: the night before, he was videotaped playing with young Bianka at the Fashion Island Mall in Newport Beach, California.
This footage only served to further solidify Bryant’s legacy not just as a formidable and record-breaking basketball player, nor just as a successful businessman, but as a girl dad.
For Halloween 2019, the entire Bryant family of six dressed up in a Wizard of Oz theme: Capri was a tiny lion, and Bianka was Dorothy.
On Bianka’s third birthday on December 5, 2019, Vanessa wrote to Instagram,
You have no idea how much you are loved, baby girl. You bring so much joy and sunshine to our lives and everyone you meet. Your smile is contagious and the twinkle in your eyes is mesmerizing. ?May you always have love, health, happiness and laughter. Mommy looks forward to the beautiful flowers you pick for me from the garden everyday. ?I wish I could bottle up the joy you have as you proudly walk through the door with my flower of the day. I love you, SUNSHINE. May God Bless you always. We love you so much!
To The Washington Post’s Kent Babb, Bryant shared that he had always wanted a daughter, and often bonded with the reporter over the fact that they both had girls. Bryant said to him once, “You’ve got your girl; that’s it. Hell yeah, man. … You’re going to hold that baby till your arms fall off.”
Bryant said to the reporter on another occasion that he needed to have more children than just the one daughter, explaining, “Just, no. [The idea of an only child] sounds good, but no. She needs a running mate, man.”
In the wake of such a tragic loss of life, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaonThree Fund, which will help support the other families besides the Bryants who have been affected by the tragedy. You can donate to that fund at MambaOnThree.org.
For those who want to further the legacy of Bryant and his “Mambacita,” Gianna, you can visit MambaSportsFoundation.org.