"Happy Heavenly Birthday"

Vanessa Bryant took to Instagram on Monday (May 1) to celebrate what would have been daughter Gianna “GiGi” Bryant’s seventeenth birthday.


Vanessa shared several social media posts that shed light on Gianna’s life as a daughter, sister, and basketball player. “Happy 17th birthday, baby girl,” Bryant wrote to her late daughter. “I love you and miss you so much,” Vanessa added.

Bryant also shared a video clip that featured various professional athletes giving tributes to Gianna. “We love her legacy, her mission, and your family,” Zoë Chicco Fine Jewelry wrote in the comments section of Vanessa’s Instagram post. “We will remember her forever,” Loni Love shared.

Gianna “GiGi” Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash in 2020. The youngster was 13 years old at the time and a rising star in basketball.

Me’arah O’Neal played alongside GiGi at the Mamba Sports Academy (now called the Mamba/Mambacita Sports Academy in honor of Gianna and her late father, Kobe Bryant, who also died in the helicopter crash). The young star took to Instagram on Monday to honor the legacy of her good friend whose life was cut short by the tragic accident.

“Don’t think I forgot about you twin,” Me’arah wrote to Gianna. “Happy Heavenly birthday,” O’Neal added.

Vanessa Bryant has four children – Natalia, Gianna, Capri, and Bianka – with her late husband. Natalia, the oldest of the Bryant girls, took to Instagram to honor her sister with throwback candids that highlighted their bond.

“Happy seventeenth birthday sweet GiGi,” Natalia wrote online. “I love you forever and always,” the young adult continued. “You are the dancing queen,” Natalia quoted from ‘Dancing Queen’ by ABBA. “You and sweet, and only seventeen.”

Natalia’s Instagram post written in memory of her sister received more than 150,000 likes.

Photo: Natalia Bryant/Instagram



Sarie is a writer and editor for BCK's Los Angeles division. She also shares stories on Medium that are meant to encourage thought and discussion. You can catch her outside enjoying nature and classical literature. Pop culture is pretty fun, too!

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