Vanessa Bryant honored her daughter Gianna Bryant’s memory and love for basketball in a touching tribute posted via Instagram on Sunday, February 2.
Vanessa, 37, shared a stunning piece of artwork that featured 13-year-old Gianna wearing her father Kobe Bryant‘s #24 Los Angeles Lakers jersey and a purple jacket while smiling as she holds a basketball.
“Seeing my babygirl smile and happy again with a basketball ? under her arm, wrapped in ??love just warmed my heart,” she captioned the picture. “Thank you for this. @_vivalareina thank you!! My Gigi.❤️ #Mambacita.”
Gianna and Kobe died, along with seven others, on board the late Lakers player’s private helicopter when it crashed into a Calabasas, California, hillside on January 26. Over the past week, there have been numerous tributes to the father-daughter duo starting with the Grammys, which took place just hours after their death.
The ceremony kicked off with host Alicia Keys and Boyz II Men singing the trio’s hit song “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” in honor of Kobe and Gianna. Later that night, the NBA All Star was incorporated as a last-minute addition into the Grammys’ tribute to Nipsey Hussle.
Vanessa broke her silence on the death of Kobe and Gianna via Instagram on Wednesday, January 29. She changed her profile picture to a photo of the pair and later that day posted a picture of Kobe, herself, and their four daughters: Natalia, 17, Gianna, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.
“My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time,” Vanessa wrote alongside the family portrait. “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.”
The Lakers played their first game since Kobe’s death on Friday, January 31, after postponing their previously scheduled game on Tuesday, January 28. Kobe and Gianna were honored throughout the night, starting with Usher who sang a rendition of “Amazing Grace.” Boyz II Men also returned to the stage after their Grammys performance to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Other emotional moments of the night included LeBron James‘ stirring speech dedicated to Kobe. The halftime show featured Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth, who performed their song “See You Again” in honor of the two-time Olympic gold medalist.
The Lakers also reserved two courtside seats for Kobe and Gianna draped with his #24 Lakers jersey and her #2 Mamba jersey. Vanessa posted a heartfelt tribute via Instagram later that night writing, “There is no #24 without #2. #GirlDaddy #DaddysGirl #MyBabies #OurAngels.”