The deaths of legendary basketball star, Kobe Bryant, and with his daughter Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant along with seven others in a helicopter crash on 26 January 2020, have put the whole world in a state of mourning. His daughter was only 13 years old and was an aspiring basketball player.
In fact, the people in the helicopter were traveling to her basketball game at Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks. Kobe Bryant was to coach her team for the game.
The 13-year-old had not even started her basketball career but tragically passed away. Her untimely and abrupt death is a colossal tragedy. Her life, although short, was inspirational for aspiring women athletes.
Who Was Gianna Maria Onore Bryant?
The late Kobe Bryant and his wife Vanessa gave birth to 4 children together Natalia Diamante Bryant (born January 19, 2003), Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant (born May 1, 2006 – 26 January 2020), Bianka Bella Bryant (born December 5, 2016) and Capri Kobe Bryant (June 2019).
Out of them, Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant was the second oldest. She was also an aspiring basketball player who frequently learned to play from her father. As a matter of fact, Kobe spent a lot of time coaching Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant, aka GiGi.
GiGi was born a year after Vanessa Bryant suffered a miscarriage, which made her all the closer to her parents. Additionally, she also brought Kobe back into the world of basketball.
According to Kobe’s poem Dear Basketball, he had given all he could to the sport but walked away wholly when he retired.
That was until 2016 when GiGi took an interest in the sport, and Bryant could enjoy all the things that basketball has to offer through the perspective of a teacher this time.
Gigi and Kobe shared a special relationship, and basketball was a bonding activity for them.
An Aspiring Basketball Star Taken Far Too Quickly
There was no doubt in Kobe’s mind that his daughter would give her best to fill his shoes or maybe even grow too big for them.
In fact, in an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Show, the late Bryant said that he believed GiGi would make him proud, and one day would play in the WNBA.
Adding to this, when fans approached the Bryant dad-daughter duo and urged him to have a son to carry the legacy, GiGi would react as if to say, according to Bryant
“She’s like… ‘I got this. Ain’t no boy for that. I got this,’”.
Kobe, aka Black Mamba, was so sure that she would make him proud that he also gave her the nickname Mambacita which means small mamba.
Here is the beautiful moment captured between Kobe and Gigi.
Now, we can only pray that wherever the father-daughter duo is, they are at peace.