15/10/2020

Bryant wrote she was touched “seeing my babygirl smile and happy again with a basketball,” one week after Gianna and Kobe died in a helicopter crash.

Vanessa Bryant posted touching tribute art of her 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, one week after the young basketball player died in a helicopter crash. 
Bryant posted an illustration of a grinning Gianna, or “Gigi” on Instagram early Sunday, which shows the 13-year-old cradling a basketball and sporting a Los Angeles Lakers jersey with the same number worn by her father Kobe Bryant, who also died in the crash.  
The 37-year-old mother wrote alongside the photo “Seeing my babygirl smile and happy again with a basketball 🏀 under her arm, wrapped in 💜💛love just warmed my heart.” 
“My Gigi,” Bryant added.
The hashtag “Mambacita” is a nod to Kobe’s “Black Mamba” nickname, which spread to his family and his brands that supported youth basketball. 
She also thanked Japanese designer and illustrator Reina Koyano, who had published the illustration on her own account. 
The comment sections on Koyano’s post were filled with praise from Bryant’s fans, some of whom wanted to purchase a print of the work. Koyano said in a later post that she would not be selling prints of the piece, but instead “would like to offer this as free downloadable wallpaper for your phones.”
“I hope this serves as reminders for all of us that life is precious, and the fact that we can wake up to a new day every day is truly a blessing,” Koyano added about the illustration. 
All eyes were on Bryant in the days after her daughter and husband’s tragic deaths alongside seven others who were on the way to a youth basketball game that Gigi was set to play with her team. 
After a few days of silence, Bryant posted a heartbreaking tribute on Instagram, writing that she and the couple’s other three daughters, Natalia, Bianka, and Capri, were “devastated.” 
“I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them,” she wrote. 
Read more: 
Vanessa Bryant asked to keep items fans left at the Staples Center memorial for Kobe
Vanessa Bryant announced a fund to direct donations to other families of victims of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe and Gianna
How Vanessa Bryant became ‘Queen Mamba’