Natalia Bryant Honors Late Dad Kobe Bryant in a Special Way Before Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

The late Kobe Bryant's daughter Natalia Bryant and wife Vanessa Bryant attended a preliminary ceremony before his Basketball Hall of Fame induction, where the teen was presented with a special gift.

By Corinne Heller May 15, 2021 4:21 PMTags
Watch: Remembering Kobe Bryant's Journey: E! News Rewind

Natalia Bryant, the eldest daughter of the late Kobe Bryant, honored her late dad in the sweetest way ahead of his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

On Friday, May 14, the 18-year-old attended the Tip-Off Celebration and Awards Gala, a preliminary event, with her mother, Vanessa Bryant. At the ceremony, they were presented with Kobe's posthumous red 2020 Hall of Fame jacket and ring. Vanessa helped put the garment on their daughter while the crowd chanted, "Kobe, Kobe."

Kobe will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2020 on Saturday, May 15. Michael Jordan is presenting the honor. Other inductees include Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett.

Kobe Bryant's Family Album

Kobe was a five-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers and  an 18-time NBA All-Star. He retired from the league in 2016.

Kobe and his and Vanessa's 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. in January 2020. Six other passengers and the pilot also perished.

Earlier on Friday, Vanessa and her and Kobe's other surviving daughters, Bianka Bryant, 4, and Capri Bryant, 23 months, visited a special exhibit honoring her late husband.

See photos of his daughters honoring him:

A Special Gift

Vanessa Bryant puts on her late husband's new Baskeball Hall of Fame jacket on Natalia Bryant after they are presented with it at the Tip-Off Celebration and Awards Gala, a day before his 2020 induction.

Eternal Love

"Love you always," Vanessa Bryant captioned an intimate moment shared to Instagram. This portrait of Kobe Bryant is one of many tributes seen in the NBA icon's exhibit at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. 

Daddy's Little Girl

Dressed in a Mambacita outfit inspired by late sister Gianna Bryant, 23-month-old Capri Bryant poses next to the Los Angeles Laker, who died in a January 2020 helicopter crash that also killed eight others.

Mamba Mentality

Hall of Fame president and chief executive John Doleva told the Los Angeles Times that Vanessa played a role in contributing to the design of the exhibit.

"It's like you're immersing yourself in Kobe's life, but there is this feeling of the future about Kobe," he explained. "It makes you contemplate what could have been."

Proud Daughter

"Bianka at Daddy's Hall Of Fame exhibit," Vanessa wrote alongside a photo of the 4 year old checking out memorabilia from her dad's historic career.

No. 8

Kobe's five championship rings from his 20-year career with the Lakers are on display at the exhibit, which opens Sunday, May 16. 

His Legacy Lives On

Visitors will also be able to watch Kobe's Oscar-winning animated short film, "Dear Basketball." As hall of fame historian Matt Zeysing described to the L.A. Times, "Vanessa really wanted the space partly to be reflective, and so ‘Dear Basketball' brings that part in. She wanted a space for if someone wanted to just reflect for longer than even 30 minutes that they would have the opportunity to do that."