Honoring Gianna Bryant, Kobe’s 13-year-old basketball star

Gianna was an emerging basketball star and was nicknamed "Mambacita" by her father

Basketball fans are mourning the death of former Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Bryant. TMZ Sports reported that Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant, and three others died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.

According to the New York Post, the Bryants were riding a helicopter to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California for Gianna’s basketball practice. Gianna was an emerging basketball star and was nicknamed “Mambacita” by her father. In 2016, Bryant started coaching his daughter’s middle school team, noting that Gianna is “pretty easy to coach.”

In a 2018 “Jimmy Kimmel Live” interview, Bryant said Gianna wanted to play for the WNBA. “The best thing that happens is when we go out and fans come up to me, and she’ll be standing next to me. They’ll be like, “You and [Vanessa Bryant] gotta have a boy, have somebody carry on the tradition, the legacy. [Gianna’s] like, ‘Oh, I got this!'”

Both father and daughter were often seen watching courtside at NBA games. One clip where they were breaking down a game recently became viral on Twitter.

Celebrities and fans have extended their condolences to the Bryant family, which is survived by Vanessa Laine Bryant and her three kids.


Photo courtesy of Kobe Bryant’s Instagram account

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