Vanessa Bryant is honoring "the best girl dad."
To celebrate Father's Day on Sunday, June 20, the 39-year-old star paid tribute to her late husband, Kobe Bryant—who tragically died in a helicopter crash with their 13-year-old daughter, Gianna "Gigi" Bryant, and several others in January 2020.
"To the best girl dad. Happy Father's Day, Papi," Vanessa captioned her Instagram post. "We love you forever and always, always and forever. Love you always, Nani, Gigi, B.B, Koko and VB."
The California native also shared a throwback image of the Lakers legend smiling from ear to ear with his four daughters by his side. The photo appeared to be taken from his 41st birthday celebration in August 2019, two months after Capri "Koko Bean" Bryant was born.
Following Kobe and Gianna's untimely death, the term "girl dad" quickly began trending worldwide. At the time, SportsCenter anchor Elle Duncan recalled her past interaction with Kobe, in which he used the heartfelt phrase.
The journalist opened up about how she met the iconic athlete backstage at an event when she was eight months pregnant. When he asked about her pregnancy and what she was having, she told him she was expecting a girl.
"Girls are the best!" she recalled of his reaction, with him adding, "Just be grateful that you've been given that gift because girls are amazing."
Elle then asked Kobe if he and Vanessa would try for a boy, as he was a father to Natalia, Gigi and Bianka at the time. The couple would later welcome their fourth daughter in June 2019.
Kobe responded, "I would have five more girls if I could. I'm a girl dad."
"When I reflect on this tragedy and that half an hour that I spent with Kobe Bryant two years ago," Elle said, with tears in her eyes, "I suppose that the only small source of comfort for me is knowing that he died doing what he loved the most—being a dad. Being a girl dad."
Vanessa echoed similar sentiments at the Basketball Hall of Fame Ceremony last month, in which her late husband was posthumously inducted.
"His most cherished accomplishment was being the very best girl dad," she expressed. "I want to thank him for somehow finding ways to dedicate time to not only being an incredible athlete, a visionary, entrepreneur and storyteller but for also being an amazing family man."
"Dear Kobe, thank you for being the best husband and father you could possibly be," she continued. "Thank you for growing and learning from your own mistakes. Thank you for always trying to do better. Thank you for never giving up on us. Thank you for all of your hard work. Thank you for our family. Thank you for our daughters. Natalia, Gianna, Bianca and Capri. Thank you for working so tirelessly to provide for us and for giving us the most amazing life together."