Vanessa Bryant, the wife of late NBA great Kobe Bryant, shared an emotional tribute to her daughter, Gianna, on what would’ve been her 17th birthday on Monday.
Bryant posted three separate photos on Instagram, showing “Gigi,” as she was known, with big smiles on her face on a carousel and with her family.
“Happy birthday, sweet Gigi! We love you to the moon and back infinity +1. Forever & Always,” Bryant captioned.
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“Happy 17th birthday, baby girl. I love you and miss you so much, sweet Angel,” she wrote on the other post.
“Te Amo Mambacita. Happy birthday, baby girl.”
Also, in honor of Gigi Bryant’s birthday, Vanessa Bryant teamed up with the Kobe team at Nike to put together the Kobe IV Protro Mambacita sneaker, which is an ode to her legacy.
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“It was important for all of us to celebrate Gigi’s life within these Kobe designs,” Vanessa Bryant said.
She shared the sneaker prior to its release on Monday.
Vanessa Bryant also showed a video with Nike’s #PlayGigisWay campaign, which was explained by several stars in the NBA and WNBA as well as those who knew her game on and off the court personally.
“Playing Gigi’s way means completely devoting yourself to the process of being the absolute best player and best person you can be,” New York Liberty star Sabrina Ionescu said.
“Working on your craft, putting in the work so you can continue to grow as a player. Be determined, just having fun,” Kobe Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers teammate Pau Gasol said.
“Showing girls around the globe that they can also play the game of basketball and be as motivated as she was,” her fifth- and sixth-grade coach Jon Grogan noted.
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“Playing the Gigi way is always the willingness to improve, playing not selfish, playing with joy and always try to be the best version of yourself,” Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo explained.
“Playing Gigi’s way means making everyone around you better. Gigi’s been making me better since we were 5 years old. Her radiant smile brought joy into every moment,” teammate Aubrey Callaghan said.
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The Bryant family and the NBA world continue to feel a void with the loss of Kobe and Gianna, who tragically passed after a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, 2020, that took the lives of seven others as well.