Everyone Is Celebrating The Life Of Gigi Bryant On What Would Have Been Her 14th Birthday

Photo: Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images.
Four months ago, Kobe Bryant was among a group of passengers killed in a helicopter crash near Calabasas. His daughter Gianna also perished in the accident. Today, the world is celebrating Gianna’s life on what would have been her 14th birthday. 
Gianna was beloved by sports fans not just for being the daughter of one of the greatest athletes of all time — many also believed that she would follow in Kobe's footsteps to become a force in the world of basketball. The 13-year-old, who went by Gigi, was passionate about the game from a very young age, having inherited Kobe’s skill and his competitiveness, and she spent much of her childhood on the court. 
When Kobe retired from the NBA in 2016, he made up for the time that he’d lost at home by mentoring and coaching Gigi. The proud “girl dad” fully supported Gigi's dogged pursuit of basketball and believed that she could even surpass his legacy in the sport as a future WNBA high-scorer; Gigi had explicitly voiced her desire to follow up a future stint on UCONN’s record-winning women’s basketball team with a career in the women’s league.
“Her temperament is a lot like mine,” Kobe said of Gigi affectionately during a FOX Sports press conference in 2019. “She’s extremely competitive, very fiery, and backs down from no challenge...that makes her even more competitive than I am.”
Although Gigi is gone, she will never be forgotten — the world is remembering her spirit and her passion for the game on her birthday. 
Vanessa Bryant also shared a heartfelt tribute to Gigi, sharing a personal photo of her daughter during a family trip to Disney World on Instagram.
"Happy 14th Birthday to my sweet baby girl, Gianna," Vanessa captioned the special image. "Mommy loves you more than I can ever show you. You are part of MY SOUL forever."
"I miss you so much everyday," she continued. "I wish I could wake up and have you here with me. I miss your smile, your hugs and your giggles. I miss EVERYTHING about YOU, Gigi. I LOVE YOU so much!!!!!!!"

More from Pop Culture

R29 Original Series