Kobe Bryant’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, was one of the family members in attendance at his public funeral held at the Staples Center. Singer Beyonce opened up the service and Vanessa looked emotionally moved after the song.
Vanessa spoke at the service and received a standing ovation from the crowd as she walked to the stage. She spoke for more than 20 minutes about Kobe and their daughter, Gianna “Gigi” Bryant.
Here’s a look at Vanessa’s full speech from the memorial service.
Vanessa Noted That Gigi Bryant Would Have Become the Best Player in the WNBA
Vanessa began the speech remembering Gigi and the legacy she left behind over her young life. She noted that her daughter had WNBA potential written all over her game.
“Gigi would most likely become the best player in the WNBA,” Vanessa said in the speech. “She would have made a huge difference for women’s basketball.”
Prior to the service, Vanessa posted a graphic on Instagram about the memorial service officially titled a Celebration of Life for both her husband and late daughter.
“#2, #24, #20 years as a Laker and the amount of years Kob and I were together ❤️❤️??,” Vanessa noted on Instagram.
Vanessa called Kobe the “romantic one” in the relationship during her speech at the memorial service. Since the death of Kobe and Gigi, Vanessa has shared her thoughts on her grieving process in addition to happy memories. Vanessa made a Valentine’s Day post that featured a photo of them together along with a Lauryn Hill song.
“To my forever Valentine, I love you so much. Missing you so much on your favorite holiday. Te amo per sempre. Kisses to you and Gigi in heaven. Happy Valentine’s Day, my babies. With all my love, your boo-boo. ❤️song: Tell Him @mslaurynhill,” Vanessa explained.
Vanessa Noted on Instagram That Their Daughter Gigi Had “So Much Life to Live”
Vanessa has been extremely vulnerable with fans as she not only grieves the loss of her husband but her 13-year-old daughter. She posted a highlight video of Gigi playing basketball along with a lengthy Instagram message admitting she wished that “they were here and this nightmare would be over.”
I’ve been reluctant to put my feelings into words. My brain refuses to accept that both Kobe and Gigi are gone. I can’t process both at the same time. It’s like I’m trying to process Kobe being gone but my body refuses to accept my Gigi will never come back to me. It feels wrong. Why should I be able to wake up another day when my baby girl isn’t being able to have that opportunity?! I’m so mad. She had so much life to live. Then I realize I need to be strong and be here for my 3 daughters.
Kobe Is Survived by Vanessa & 3 Children: Natalia, Bianka & Capri
Kobe is survived by Vanessa and their three children: Natalia, Bianka and Capri. The couple’s youngest daughter, Capri, is just seven-months-old. ESPN SportsCenter anchor Elle Duncan discussed Kobe’s advice to her on being a “girl dad” in a clip that went viral.
“His third daughter, Bianka, was about a year-and-a-half old at the time, so I asked if he wanted more children, and he said that his wife, Vanessa, really wanted to try again for a boy but was sort of jokingly concerned that it would be another girl,” Elle noted, per Today.com. “And I was like, ‘Four girls, are you joking? What would you think? How would you feel?’ And without hesitation he said, ‘I would have five more girls if I could. I’m a ‘girl dad.'”
Vanessa called Kobe the “MVP of girl dads” in her speech remembering their relationship.
Vanessa & Kobe’s Family Reportedly Took Part in a Private Funeral Prior to the Memorial Service at Staples Center
Vanessa along with other members of Kobe’s family took part in a private funeral service on February 7 at Pacific View Memorial Park in Corona Del Mar, per ET Online. The larger service at the Staples Center was designed for the public to pay their respects.
“Vanessa and the family wanted a private service to mourn their loss,” an anonymous source told ET Online. “The ceremony was extremely hard for everyone as it’s still hard for them to grasp they lost two beautiful souls.”