Just one day before Kobe and Gianna Bryant were tragically killed in a helicopter crash, they spent the day together at his Mamba Sports Academy. Gigi hit the court to play basketball, and her dad was proudly watching from the sidelines.
Kobe Bryant, 41, and his daughter, Gianna Bryant, 13, shared a special bond over their love of basketball, and in one of their final moments together, they were on the court. Less than 24 hours before Kobe and Gianna died in an absolutely horrific helicopter crash, they were photographed at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, where Gigi had back-to-back basketball games. In several of the pics, Gigi is intensely playing in her eighth grade basketball game, while Kobe watches from courtside. There’s one special photo in particular, though, which shows the basketball legend getting out of his seat to high five his daughter.
Just like her dad, Gianna loved basketball, and despite only being 13 years old, she already had plans of playing in the WNBA one day. During a 2019 interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Kobe opened up about his teenager’s aspirations. “Fans will come up to me and she’ll be standing next to me, and they’ll say, ‘Hey, you’ve gotta have a [baby] boy! You and [Vanessa Bryant] gotta have a boy to carry on your tradition, the legacy!'” Kobe explained. “[Gianna]’s like, ‘I got this,’ she would tell the fans. [And I said], ‘That’s right! You got it!'” Unfortunately, Gianna’s life was cut far too short when she and her father were killed after their helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California on Jan. 26.
The two were headed to the Mamba Sports Academy for some more basketball when the helicopter went down and burst into flames. They were joined by two of Gianna’s teammates, Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester, along with Alyssa’s parents, John Altobelli and Keri Altobelli, and Payton’s mom, Sarah Chester. Gianna’s basketball coach, Christina Mauser, was also a victim in the crash, along with the helicopter pilot, Ara Zobayan. There were no survivors.
Kobe and Gianna are survived by Kobe’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, and three more daughters, Natalia, 17, Bianka,3, and Capri, 6 months. This tragic accident has affected so many fans and fellow celebrities, with continuous tributes pouring in on social media after the news broke. Our hearts are with the Bryant family during this difficult time.