It very quickly became world-wide news that on Sunday, January 26, Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gigi Bryant, and seven others, unfortunately, passed away in a helicopter accident. After two weeks, Bryant’s wife, Vanessa announced the memorial date for her late husband and daughter.
It is unfortunate that those involved lost their lives so suddenly, but Kobe and Gigi’s death shocked not only the nation but the entire world. Kobe was in the NBA for 20 years and spent the latter part of his life as a motivational speaker, philanthropist, basketball coach, and most of all a loving husband and dad.
In the years after his retirement, Kobe could very often be spotted at various professional basketball games with Gigi right by his side. After all, she was the one who was supposed to continue the basketball legacy within their family.
Following their death, social media was flooded with pictures, memories, and stories from both friends of Kobe and fans. It was rather surprising, but also gut-wrenching when Vannessa made her first post detailing how she and the rest of her daughters were affected by the tragedy.
View this post on Instagram
My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. 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. We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately. There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon. I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever. Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality. To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org. To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org. Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me. #Mamba #Mambacita #GirlsDad #DaddysGirls #Family ❤️
Since then she has made a multitude of posts that reflect on the lives of Kobe and Gigi. She recently announced that the memorial for her husband and daughter will be held at Staples Center on February 24th, 2020. She notes that the date symbolizes Kobe’s Laker jersey number and also the 20 years that they spent together before his passing.