Vanessa Bryant pays sweet tribute to daughter Gigi on what would have been her 18th birthday

Vanessa Bryant has paid tribute to her late daughter Gianna “Gigi” Bryant on what would’ve been her 18th birthday.

On January 26, 2020, Vanessa’s husband Kobe Bryant, their daughter Gianna and seven other passengers, tragically lost their lives in a helicopter crash.

The aircraft left John Wayne Airport in Orange County just after 9:00AM and was on its way to a girl’s basketball tournament at the Mamba Sports Academy in Newbury Park.

However, it did a U-turn in the Calabasas area, climbed, and made a steep descent before crashing into a hillside, according to reports.

Four years have passed since Kobe and Gigi’s tragic death. Credit: Allen Berezovsky / Getty

Four years have passed since the heartbreaking incident, and yet their memories remain in the hearts of many.

The 41-year-old widow took to Instagram on Wednesday (May 1) to pay a sweet tribute to her late daughter, who died when she was 13, with a poignant video montage. Check it out below:

 

Vanessa Bryant’s Tribute To Late Daughter Gigi
Credit: VanessaBryant/Instagram
0 seconds of 1 minute, 29 secondsVolume 90%

Click To Play

“Happy birthday to my gorgeous girl, Gigi! I love you. I miss you. I’m so proud of you. 2024 was your year,” she penned. “You would’ve been graduating high school and choosing which college to go to. ( I would’ve been trying my hardest to convince you to stay close to home).”

“I’m proud of the change in sports you and Daddy worked so hard on. You continue to motivate me and inspire young women and girls daily. I love you always, Mommy. #PlayGigisWay #Mambacita Forever. #18,” she concluded.

Vanessa paid tribute to her late daughter. Credit: Allen Berezovsky / Getty

In addition to the emotional tribute, the mom-of-four also promoted the release of Nike’s Kobe 8 Protro sneaker in Mambacita, which “honors Gianna ‘Gigi’ Bryant and the joy she brought to basketball and athletes around the world,” per the shoe’s description on the Nike website reads.

Profits from the design will benefit the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, the charity started by Vanessa which supports underserved child athletes, per E! News.

“Arriving on her 18th birthday, the colorway is inspired by her youth basketball team’s uniform while the butterfly pattern nods to Gigi’s transformational impact on the game,” the brand wrote.

“Personal touches, like Gigi’s name and number on the heel, remind you to play with joy, curiosity, and competitiveness while never taking any opportunity for granted, just like Gigi. And when it’s time to step on the court, the golden ‘Mambacita’ heart and wings let you carry Gigi’s passion for sport into the future,” it concluded.

The shoes were released on May 1, coinciding with Gianna’s birthday.