Vanessa Bryant is honoring her late daughter Gianna on what would have been her 18th birthday.

Taking to Instagram earlier today, Bryant shared a touching tribute alongside a video montage of Gianna.


“Happy birthday to my gorgeous girl, Gigi! I love you. I miss you. I’m so proud of you. 2024 was your year. 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),” she wrote.

“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.”

In addition to her heartfelt words, Vanessa Bryant partnered with Nike to release a special edition of the Nike Kobe 8 “Mambacita” sneaker in honor of Gianna’s birthday.The shoe, adorned with a black, white, and gold butterfly theme, honoring Gianna’s love for basketball.

Proceeds from the sneaker sales will support the Mambacita Sports Foundation, which is dedicated to empowering young athletes from underserved communities.

“Gigi changed the game. Forever. On 5.1 we celebrate Gianna “Gigi” Bryant’s 18th birthday and the transformational impact she had on highlighting women’s sports with the release of the Kobe 8 Protro ‘Mambacita”,” Vanessa shared on social media.

It has been four years since the tragic passing of Gianna Bryant and her father, the late NBA legend Kobe Bryant.

On January 26, 2020, Kobe, Gianna, and seven others were aboard a helicopter en route to a basketball tournament in Thousand Oaks when their plane crashed. With only 14 miles remaining until their destination, the helicopter crashed into a Calabasas hillside, likely due to pilot error, as concluded by a yearlong investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.

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