The world is mourning the sudden and shocking loss of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who died tragically in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday morning at the age of 41.
The five-time NBA champion, who played for the Los Angeles Lakers throughout his entire league career, was also a loving husband and devoted father to his four daughters, Natalia, Bianka, Gianna and Capri.
In news that only compounded this tragedy, the world learned that Bryant’s daughter, Gianna Bryant, 13, also died in the crash. Three other people aboard the aircraft—one of Gianna’s basketball teammates, their parent, and the pilot—have been confirmed dead. According to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, the flight manifest shows that a total of nine people were scheduled to be on the helicopter. Additional deaths have not been confirmed.
Following in her father’s footsteps, Gianna, affectionately known as “GiGi” was a rising basketball star, and Bryant coached his daughter’s middle school basketball team. People reports that at the time of the crash, the two were on their way to her school, the Mamba Academy near Thousand Oaks, California, for basketball practice.
During his time playing for the Lakers and post-retirement, Bryant’s wife of 19 years, Vanessa Bryant, and daughters regularly joined him on the court. Bryant recently revealed that his daughter’s passion for the game is what brought him back to watching NBA and he very much enjoyed their time together courtside.
Our prayers go out to the Bryant family during this difficult time. Take a look back at the beautiful relationship Kobe and Gianna shared.
1. Remembering Kobe and Gianna Bryant
Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna Bryant watch during day 2 of the Phillips 66 National Swimming Championships at the Woollett Aquatics Center on July 26, 2018 in Irvine, California.
2. Remembering Kobe and Gianna Bryant
Gianna Bryant and her father, Kobe Bryant, attend the WNBA All-Star Game 2019 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on July 27, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
3. Remembering Kobe and Gianna Bryant
Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant attend a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Atlanta Hawks at Staples Center on November 17, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
4. Remembering Kobe and Gianna Bryant
Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant attend the game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks on December 29, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California.
5. Remembering Kobe and Gianna Bryant
Retired NBA star Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi, watch an NBA basketball game between the Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks on December 21, 2019 at Barclays Center in the Brooklyn.
6. Remembering Kobe and Gianna Bryant
Kobe Bryant poses for a portrait with his daughters (L-R) Natalia and Gianna at the 2007-08 NBA Most Valuable Player Award press conference presented by Kia Motors at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel on April 29, 2008 in Los Angeles California.
7. Remembering Kobe and Gianna Bryant
Kobe Bryant pinches his daughter Gianna Bryant’s cheeks during a photo session on March 29, 2008 at his home in Newport Beach, California.
8. Remembering Kobe and Gianna Bryant
Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers holds his daughter Gianna Bryant during a photo session on March 29, 2008 at his home in Newport Beach, California.
9. Remembering Kobe and Gianna Bryant
Kobe Bryant holds the Larry O’ Brien Trophy with his wife Vanessa and his daughters Natalia and Gianna after the Lakers defeated the Orlando Magic 99-86 in Game Five of the 2009 NBA Finals on June 14, 2009 at Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida.
10. Remembering Kobe and Gianna Bryant
Kobe Bryant kisses his daughter Gianna Bryant as they celebrate the Lakers winning the 2009 NBA Finals against the Orlando Magic in Game Five of the 2009 NBA Finals at Amway Arena on June 14, 2009 in Orlando, Florida.