Vanessa Bryant took to social media to pen an emotional tribute to her late-daughter Gianna “Gigi” Bryant on what would have been her 17th birthday.
“Happy Birthday sweet Gigi! We love you to the moon and back infinity+1,” Bryant wrote on Instagram. “Forever & always.”
In two posts, Kobe Bryant’s widow shared photos of Gigi alongside her sisters and her mom.
“Te amo mambacita,” another post read. “Happy Birthday, baby girl.”
Another post shows Gigi on the carousel at Disneyland.
“Happy 17th birthday, baby girl. I love you and miss you so much, sweet Angel,” the caption said.
Some big names in basketball made a video tribute for Gigi’s birthday. The video includes messages from WNBA player Sabrina Ionescu, former Lakers star/ best friend of Kobe, Pau Gasol, former teammate Aubrey Callaghan, Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, and her former coach Jon Grogan.
Also to mark the occasion, Nike released the Kobe IV Protro “Mambacita” sneaker on May 1. Profits will benefit the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation.
“The design’s colorway nods to her youth basketball team’s uniform,” Nike said. “The gingham around the heel pays tribute to the flannel shirts that Gigi frequently wore around her waist. The Swoosh on the outsole is red, nodding to the red bow Gigi wore in her hair for school pictures.”
Gigi’s name is on the heel and shoelace tips.
The $180 sneakers immediately sold out upon release.
Gigi, Kobe, and seven others died in a helicopter crash in California on Jan. 26, 2020. Prior to her death, Gigi had big dreams of playing basketball professionally.