Kobe and Gigi Bryant, along with seven others, were killed in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, 2020. The group was en route to a youth basketball tournament at the Mamba Sports Academy, which Kobe founded. The proud dad previously spoke about his daughter Gigi carrying out his legacy on the court. In October 2018, Kobe told late night host Jimmy Kimmel, “The best thing that happens is when… fans will come up to me and [Gigi will] be standing next to me, and they’ll be like, ‘Hey, you gotta have a boy… Got somebody to carry on the tradition, the legacy.’ She’s like… ‘I got this. You don’t need a boy for that, I got this.'”
The fact that Mamba Sports Foundation expanded its name to honor Gigi, aka the Mambacita, is truly touching. The pair’s lives will also be memorialized at “A Celebration of Life: Kobe & Gianna Bryant” at the Staples Center on Feb. 24, 2020. Vanessa revealed the significance of the date on Instagram: “#2, #24, #20 years as a Laker and the amount of years Kob and I were together.” While the loss hasn’t been easy on Vanessa (just a few days ago, she wrote on IG, “My brain refuses to accept that both Kobe and Gigi are gone”), she’s still holding her head high as she honors her loved ones.