Vanessa Bryant Honors Daughter Gigi’s Birthday With an Emotional Tribute

Gigi Birthday

Instagram Friday, May 1, marks what would have been Gianna Bryant's 14th birthday.

On Friday, Vanessa Bryant honored what would have been daughter Gigi’s 14th birthday with an emotional Instagram post.

“Happy 14th Birthday to my sweet baby girl, Gianna. Mommy loves you more than I could ever show you. You are part of MY SOUL forever. I miss you so much everyday. I wish I could wake up and have you here with me. I miss your smile, your hugs, and your giggles. I miss EVERYTHING about YOU, Gigi. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!!!”

By Friday morning, ‘Happy Birthday Gigi’ was trending on Twitter, with over 100k posts honoring the basketball star’s birthday.

Gianna, the second eldest daughter of Kobe Bryant, was an avid basketball player like her father and hoped to one day play for UConn’s women’s basketball team.

She died January 26, 2020, in a Calabasas helicopter crash that took the lives of her father, baseball coach John Altobelli, five other passengers and the pilot.


Vanessa Recently Spent Her First Anniversary Without Kobe

On April 18, Vanessa posted another emotional tribute in honor of her first anniversary without Kobe.

She wrote, “My king, my heart, my best friend. Happy 19th wedding anniversary baby. I miss you so much. I wish you were here to hold me in your arms. I love you.”

Vanessa and Kobe married in Dana Point, California, in 2001. Vanessa was only 18 at the time.

April 12 marked another first for the Bryant family — their first Easter without Gigi and Kobe. Vanessa posted a sweet video of her daughters, Bianka, 3, and 9-month-old Capri, to honor the holiday. Vanessa is also mother to 17-year-old Natalia Bryant, who didn’t make an appearance in the video.

After the Instagram was posted, a source told People that Vanessa is “grateful to have her kids and family around.” The family is continuing to “stay at home like everyone else” amid the pandemic.


WNBA Honored Kobe, Gianna & Two Teammates

The day before Kobe and Vanessa’s anniversary, the WNBA honored Kobe, Gianna and her two teammates, Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester, by drafting them into the league as honorary selections.

On April 17, the WNBA also announced the Kobe & Gigi Bryant WNBA Advocacy Award, which will “recognize an individual or group who has made significant contributions to the visibility, perception and advancement of women’s and girls’ basketball at all levels,” according to an official release.

In a statement, WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert shared, “Kobe was an incredible champion of women’s basketball and Gianna shared his passion and dedication to our game. … The Kobe & Gigi Bryant WNBA Advocacy Award will honor their legacy and reflect Kobe’s commitment to mentoring the next generation of players, promoting the game and giving back to the community.”

The announcement added that Vanessa Bryant will play a “large role” in determining the honoree and will present the award each year at NBA All-Star.

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