Vanessa Bryant honored her late husband Kobe and daughter Gigi with posts celebrating her anniversary with Kobe and Gigi’s honorary draft into the WNBA.
Kobe and Gigi tragically passed in a January helicopter crash that claimed seven other lives.
Saturday, April 18, marks what would’ve been Vanessa and Kobe’s 19th wedding anniversary.
Vanessa shared a cozy picture of her and the Laker legend penning, “My king, my heart, my best friend. Happy 19th wedding anniversary baby. I miss you so much. I wish you were here to hold me in your arms. I love you.”
On Friday, Gigi and her teammates, Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester, who were among the nine lives claimed in the January helicopter crash, were named honorary draft selections for the WNBA’s 2020 Draft.
In the WNBA’s announcement video, Vanessa thanked the WNBA for honoring “my Gigi” for what would’ve been a dream come true for the young athlete.
“She worked tirelessly every single day. She wanted to be one of the greatest athletes of all time just like her daddy,” said Vanessa. “So thank you […] for honoring my little girl.”
The WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert also announced the new Kobe & Gigi WNBA Advocacy Award on Friday, which will honor “an individual or group who has made significant contributions to the visibility, perception and advancement of women’s and girls’ basketball at all levels.”
“Kobe was an incredible champion of women’s basketball and Gianna shared his passion and dedication to our game,” said Engelbert in a statement. “The Kobe & Gigi Bryant WNBA Advocacy Award will honor their legacy and reflect Kobe’s commitment to mentoring the next generation of players, promoting the game and giving back to the community.”
The WNBA and the Bryant family will present the inaugural award during NBA All-Star 2021 in Indianapolis. Vanessa will play a large role in determining the honoree and present the award each year at NBA All-Star.