Legendary NBA player Kobe Bryant, 41, and his daughter, Gianna Bryant, 13, died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26. The tragic news has sent shockwaves across the globe as celebrities and fans continue to mourn the devastating losses. Gianna was just 13 years old at the time of her death but she was already following in her father’s footsteps with a basketball career. Here are 5 key things to know about Gianna Bryant.
1. Gianna tragically died in the same helicopter crash that killed her father. Kobe and Gianna, whose nickname was GiGi, were among the 5 people on board the helicopter when it crashed in the Calabasas hillside on Jan. 26, reps for Kobe told TMZ. (CNN, ESPN, and NBC News also reported) Kobe and Gianna were traveling in the NBA legend’s private helicopter. When the helicopter crashed, a fire broke out. Despite the response of emergency personnel, no one on board survived.
2. Gianna and Kobe were reportedly on their way to basketball practice. The father and daughter were reportedly traveling via helicopter to Mamba Academy for basketball practice. The training facility, which Kobe founded, is located in Thousand Oaks, California.
3. Kobe and Gianna were incredibly close. They frequently attended NBA games together. Kobe and Gianna recently attended a Los Angeles Lakers game against the Dallas Mavericks on Dec. 29, 2019. They sat courtside as they watched the Lakers, the team Kobe played 20 years for, beat the Mavericks 108 to 95.
4. Gianna was a basketball star on the rise. Kobe posted a video of Gianna playing in a basketball game on Jan. 14. “Gigi getting better every day #teammamba #mambacita #fade,” Kobe captioned the Instagram video. At just 13, she was already a force on the basketball court and Kobe was so proud of her.
5. Gianna was one of 4 children. Gianna was the second oldest child of Kobe and Vanessa Bryant, 37. Her siblings include Natalia Bryant, 17, Bianka Bryant, 3, and Capri Bryant, 7 months.