How Vanessa Bryant Honored Late Daughter Gigi on Her 16th Birthday

Vanessa Bryant paid tribute to her late daughter Gianna “Gigi,” whom she shared with Kobe Bryant, on what would have been the child’s 16th birthday.

By Ashley Joy Parker May 01, 2022 7:45 PMTags
Watch: Vanessa Bryant Honors Late Daughter Gianna on Her 16th Birthday

Sweet Sixteen.

Vanessa Bryant paid tribute to her late daughter Gianna "Gigi" Bryant in a series of Instagram posts on May 1, what would have been her 16th birthday.

In a video featuring sweet sketches of the teen and her father Kobe Bryant, Vanessa included a heartwarming message.

"From the first time you imagined winning a WNBA championship, I knew one thing was real. You were special," the tribute read. "You came from greatness, but it was never about what you inherited.  It was about what you gave to others. When someone stands up for gender equality, I see you fighting alongside of them.

The message concluded, "And every time someone plays her hardest, I know that's you on the court. Love you always, Basketball."

Vanessa also posted a pic of Gigi wearing a black skirt and high-heel boots on the basketball court with the caption, "Love you always! Happy Birthday, Gianna. #Mambacita"

Kobe Bryant's Family Album

Nike also celebrated Gianna's birthday by releasing its limited-edition "Kobe 6 Protro Mambacita Sweet 16" sneaker. Kris Jenner was one of the first stars to score a pair and posted a pic of the shoes to Instagram on May 1.

Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images

Kobe and Gianna were killed in January 2020 when their private helicopter crashed while they were traveling to a teen basketball tournament at the former NBA star's Mamba Sports Academy near Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Earlier this month, Vanessa celebrated what would have been her 21st wedding anniversary to Kobe with a heartfelt social media post.

"I love you forever, baby," the 39-year-old wrote on Instagram on April 18. "Happy Anniversary @kobebryant #21."

In addition to Gianna, Kobe and Vanessa have three other daughters—Natalia, now 19; Bianka, now 5; and Capri, now 2.

"Kobe was her one and only," a source previously told E! News. "Vanessa's main focus is always the girls."

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