AceShowbiz - Vanessa Bryant is honoring her late daughter Gianna on what would have been her 16th birthday. To mark the special occasion, Kobe Bryant's widow offered a tribute to the basketball prodigy with a heartfelt video.
"From the first time you imagined winning a WNBA Championship, I knew one thing was real. You were special," the 39-year-old narrated the clip shared on Instagram. "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."
Also honoring Gigi on her birthday was her older sister Natalia Bryant. Sharing a throwback photo of herself as a child kissing Gigi's cheek as her sister grinned from ear to ear on her Instagram page, the model gushed, "Happy sweet sixteen my dearest gigi. I love you to the moon and back, forever & always."
Nike, in the meantime, has released a unique pair of "Kobe 6 Protro Mambacita Sweet 16" shoes, which features a black snakeskin pattern. According to the brand, proceeds from the shoes will go towards the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, a nonprofit aimed at supporting underserved athletes.
"The 'Mambacita Sweet 16' is inspired by her resilient spirit and the love she had, not only for the game, but for her family, friends and community," Vanessa wrote on Instagram. "Part of her legacy is about building a better future for all girls and women in sport, one step at a time."
Gianna and her father Kobe passed away on January 26, 2020 when the helicopter they were on crashed in Calabasas, California. At that time, they were heading to a youth basketball tournament. Aside from the father-and-daughter duo, seven other people were also dead from the accident.