Vanessa Bryant honors late daughter Gianna’s 15th birthday: ‘I wish you were here with us’ .
Vanessa Bryant honored her daughter Gianna on what would have been her 15th birthday, more than one year after the teen and her NBA father Kobe Bryant died in a California helicopter crash.
“Dear Gianna, Happy 15th Birthday!” Vanessa, 38, wrote on Instagram Saturday. “I love you! I miss you everyday! I wish you were here with us. There are no words to express how much I miss you. I love you Mamacita!”
On January 26, 2020, Kobe, a retired player for the Los Angeles Lakers and Gianna, along with seven others, were riding in a helicopter to a local sporting event when the aircraft crashed in Calabasas, amid poor weather conditions, killing everyone on board. Kobe and Vanessa had been married for 19 years and shared three daughters: Natalia, 18, Bianka, 4, and Capri, 1.
Vanessa Bryant is launching MAMBACITA on May 1st in honor of Gigi’s 15th birthday.
After losing her husband, Kobe Bryant, and daughter, Gigi, last year, Vanessa Bryant has often turned to social media to remember and honor them. On Saturday, Bryant remembered Gigi on what would be her 15th birthday and launched a fundraiser in her honor. She partnered with a female-owned clothing company to design a line inspired by Gigi.
Bryant said 100% of the proceeds would go to "Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, which is dedicated to creating positive impact for underserved athletes and young women in sports."
Bryant founded the foundation in memory of her husband and daughter. Kobe coached Gigi's Mambacita basketball team. The two were killed in a helicopter crash in 2020, alongside seven other people, including fellow coaches and players on the youth team.
"Gigi was especially motivated to change the way everyone viewed women in sports, and it's fitting that this capsule represents her values," Bryant wrote.
The athletic line is by DANNIJO, a clothing company owned by two sisters who "jumped on the opportunity to celebrate Gigi's birthday with us, completely pro-bono," Bryant said.
The details on the clothing celebrate Gigi – using the colors purple, which represents the Lakers, and black, which represents Gigi's basketball team. The number two, which was Gigi's jersey number, and #PlayGigisWay are also emblazoned on the clothing.
The line, which included hoodies, sweatpants and masks, went live on Sunday and is completely sold out on the DANNIJO website as of Monday morning. Several NBA players, including Steph Curry, Kyrie Irving, Devin Booker, LeBron James and several other Lakers players wore head-to-toe Mambacita Collection over the weekend. Several other celebrities, including Ciara and the Kardashians, also repped the clothing on social media.
Bryant thanked those who supported the clothing line and foundation, which "provides funding and sports programming for underserved athletes to enable participation in school and/or league sports that enrich socio-emotional and physical development," according to its website.
Bryant also posted a sweet tribute to Gigi on Saturday, which would have been her 15th birthday, and would have been celebrated with a quinceañera, a traditional event in Latin culture. "Dear Gianna, Happy 15th Birthday! ❤️😘I love you! I miss you everyday! I wish you were here with us. There are no words to express how much I miss you. I love you Mamacita #15 #Quincenera #Mambacita #Principessa," she wrote.