BASKET-NBA-BRYANT-MEMORIAL

Source: FREDERIC J. BROWN / Getty

Today, fans, family, and loved ones got together at the Staples Center to celebrate the lives of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna Bryant. The world was shocked when the two were reported dead, alongside seven others, after a fatal helicopter crash last month. Now, after a private funeral and several tributes, fans of the legend and legend-in-the-making got a chance to say their farewells.

Following a beautiful opening by Beyoncé, who sang her songs “XO” and “Halo,” Kobe Bryant’s wife Vanessa bravely took to the stage to share some sweet words about her fallen angels. She remembered Gianna as intelligent, silly, and athletically skilled, calling the 13-year-old a “sweet and gentle soul.”

“Gigi was very competitive like her daddy, but Gianna had a sweet grace about her. Her smile was like sunshine. Her smile took up her entire face like mine — Kobe always said she was me. She had my fire. My personality and sarcasm. She was tender and loving on the inside. She had the best laugh. It was infectious. It was pure and genuine,” Vanessa said of their daughter.

She remembered Kobe as a doting father who put his family first. She described him as a romantic and said she dreamed of growing old with him.

“God knew they couldn’t be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to heaven together,” Vanessa said, adding “Babe, you take care of our Gigi.” May Kobe and Gianna rest in peace. Our prayers are with Vanessa and the girls at this time.

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