January 26, 2020, will go down in NBA history as one of the darkest days. Kobe Bryant, along with his daughter Gianna, the Altobelli family, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester, Payton Cheser, and Ara Zobayan all perished in a tragic helicopter accident near Calabasas, California. The NBA world mourned the passing of one of its all-time greats and his daughter, who was just 13, with everyone's thoughts and prayers going to Vanessa Bryant and the rest of Kobe Bryant's daughters, who survived him and their sister.
Since that horrid day over 2 years ago, many people, including Vanessa Bryant, have paid tribute to the victims on various days of significance, including birthdays, wedding anniversaries, as well as the anniversary of the horrific accident. Gianna Bryant would have turned 16 years of age on May 1, 2022, and her mother Vanessa Bryant posted a tribute to her late daughter on Instagram, in the form of a beautiful letter signed, 'Basketball'.
From the first time you imagined winning a WNBA championship, I knew one thing was real: You were special. You came from greatness. But it was never about what you inherited. It was about what you gave to others. When someone stands up for gender equality, I see you fighting alongside them. And every time someone plays their hardest, I know that’s you on the court.
Love you always,
The heartfelt and emotional letter also had a more personalized caption from Vanessa, who professed her eternal love for Gianna.
"Love you always! Happy Birthday, Gianna. 😘❤️🥰 #Mambacita #2 ❤️❤️"
The tragedy of losing a child cannot be understated, it truly is something that no parent should ever have to experience. Vanessa Bryant's continued strength is a credit to her as a mother and a person, and it speaks to how she and Kobe were able to raise such wonderful children together.