Kobe & Gianna Bryant Memorial Scheduled For Feb. 24
A date has been selected for the memorial of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant. Kobe and Gianna died in a tragic helicopter accident in Calabasas, California on January 26. There were seven other victims of the crash who perished alongside Kobe and Gianna. The public memorial for the late basketball superstar and his daughter is set to be held at the Staples Center on February 24. Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s wife, took to Instagram to share the news.
The picture in Vanessa’s Instagram post announcing the memorial has symbolic significance. The Staples Center is the stadium Kobe played at with the Los Angeles Lakers, the team he played on for the entirety of his career. The day of the memorial, 24, corresponds to Kobe’s jersey number, while the month of the memorial, 2, corresponds to Gianna’s jersey number. Gianna played basketball at Harbor Day School in Newport Beach, California, and she often dreamed of following her father’s footsteps and pursuing a career in professional basketball. The butterflies in the photo are yellow and purple, which correspond to the Lakers’ team colors.
It is unknown at this time whether the public memorial will also commemorate the other seven victims of the helicopter crash, two of which were children. However, both Vanessa and Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal, a former teammate of Kobe, have both been committed to supporting the families of those who died in the accident. Vanessa has posted several tributes to her late husband and daughter on Instagram, and in a post to the website on January 29, Vanessa discussed her intent to help out the victim’s families.
View this post on Instagram
My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately. There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon. I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever. Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality. To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org. To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org. Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me. #Mamba #Mambacita #GirlsDad #DaddysGirls #Family ❤️
“The Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy,” she wrote in her caption. In a Twitter post, Shaq discussed how he wanted to honor the victims.
— SHAQ (@SHAQ) January 29, 2020
“I’ll be dedicating and donating all my proceeds from Friday nights Fun House to all the families who lost loved ones and to the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Foundation,” wrote Shaq.