Remembering Kobe and Gianna Bryant a year later
It's been one year since the NBA legend, his young daughter and seven others passed away.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Today marks the first anniversary of the tragic helicopter crash that claimed the lives of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and their friends/teammates: Sarah and Payton Chester, John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli, and Christina Mauser.
Bryant’s friend and longtime pilot, Ara Zobayan, also passed in the crash. Since then, the world has rallied around ‘the Black Mamba’ and his daughter, the ‘Mambacita.’ An aspiring WNBA player herself, Gianna was already an influential figure in women’s sports for her blossoming talent, go-getter attitude and dedication to growing women’s basketball.
Her father Kobe, who supported the WNBA throughout his playing career, stood right there alongside her. The late NBA-great supported the WNBA both directly and indirectly, championing it on a national stage while mentoring the next generation of WNBA greats.
Beyond that, Bryant was a dedicated philanthropist, an Oscar award-winning screenwriter, a motivational speaker and one of the single greatest athletes there ever was.
As his peak, Bryant was sensational unguardable. An 18-time All-Star with five championships in tow and 15 All-NBA selections, Bryant is amongst the greatest shooting guards to play the game. Using his ‘Mamba Mentality,’ which has since been adopted by people striving to be their best in fields across the world, Kobe replicated Michael Jordan’s game and made it his own.
Bryant stood for a lot more than just his craft — He stood for the unwavering dedication to being your best. Every day, he settled for nothing less than 110% from himself. It resulted in countless accolades, making him one of the most decorated basketball players in the history of the sport.
Kobe’s mentality and approach to his profession garnered support worldwide. He spent part of his youth in Italy as his father, an NBA player himself, retired from the league to continue playing internationally. In that time, Bryant was exposed to different cultures and ways of life that attached to his very essence as a man. He’s beloved throughout Europe and is widely regarded as one of, if not the single most beloved basketball player in all of China.
For many, Kobe and Gigi’s passing served as a reminder that not everything is guaranteed. Though family has always been a priority of his, Kobe found himself dedicating himself to his family in his retirement from the game that he gave everything to.
Watching Kobe spend his retirement as a full-on family man was a great joy for many who rooted for and against him throughout his career. Kobe was only 41-year-old at the time of his passing and left behind a life, Vanessa, and three other daughters — Natalia, Bianka and Capri Bryant.
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