Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, AfterBuzz TV is the artist-friendly entertainment news platform that celebrates, discusses, interviews, promotes and reports on the widest range of stars, creators and content through video, audio and article publications.
ABTV Remembers Gigi Bryant
May 1, 2006 Gigi Bryant was born. Fourteen years ago to the day.
Gigi should’ve been celebrating with friends, loved ones and most of all, her father, Kobe Bryant. Although, in reality Gigi probably would have been playing basketball today, perfecting her craft and working on the Mambacita Mentality.
However, Gigi Bryant wasn’t here on Earth doing those things today, but I know she was playing the best game of basketball imaginable with Alyssa Altobeli and Peyton Chester amongst the clouds.
Ever since the sports world stopped spinning on January 26, 2020, when word spread like wildfire that Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gigi, and seven others lost their lives in a helicopter crash, I haven’t been able to shake what Vanessa Bryant, mother to Gigi and wife of Kobe, was experiencing.
I can imagine today was one of the hardest days yet. For they say that when you lose loved ones, it’s the year of “firsts” that stings the sharpest and longest. The first Father’s Day, first Halloween, first Christmas, or – like today – first birthday. In fact, almost two weeks ago, Vanessa Bryant had to endure her “first” anniversary without Kobe as well.
Vanessa has done the impossible. She’s shown grace, poise and above all, strength. She is the one carrying on the Mamba Mentality now, and consistently does so.
On April 18, the WNBA selected Gigi as the youngest pick in the history of the league. Her proud mother posted to Instagram, “I’m so proud of you… You deserved to live along, healthy and happy life… You’re the best, baby girl. Mommy loves and misses you more than I could ever express….”.
And on Friday, May 1, Gigi would’ve been celebrating her fourteenth birthday.
“Happy 14th Birthday to my sweet baby girl, Gianna,” wrote Vanessa to Instagram, “Mommy loves you more than i can ever show you. You are part of MY SOUL forever. I miss you so much everyday. I wish I could wake up and have you here with me…”
She continued to add how much she missed Gigi’s smile, hugs and giggles.
Vanessa Bryant followed up with a post to commemorate Gigi’s birthday. She said, “Gianna loved to wear a red bow in all of her school pictures. Red means love and life.” She also suggested to anyone who wished, “wear red, caption an act of kindness or show how you will play Gig’s way since she always gave everything she did her all and led with kindness.”
She added to use the hashtag #PlayGigisWay. I highly recommend searching that tag on Instagram because the results are mind blowing.
As a 14-year-old girl, Gigi Bryant made an impact that almost seems far-fetched.
WNBA first overall draft pick, Sabrina Ionescu, is a close friend of the Bryant family. She was one of the first to post about Gigi’s birthday and was not the last.
Throughout the day hundreds of posts regarding Gigi Red were flooding Instagram.
Other famous athletes such as former Olympic Gymnast, Nastia Lukin, USA Women’s National Soccer Team World Cup Champion, Carli Lloyd and Sydney Leroux Dwyer, three time WNBA Champion, Swin Cash Canal, and more showed their love to Gigi.
NBC’s The Voice judge, and singer Kelly Clarkson wrote on Instagram, “I remember Kobe telling me that Gigi always played with kindness, not just talent. I wear this bracelet to honor her on her birthday and remind everyone to continue her legacy and #PlayGigisWay”.
Additionally, Vanessa Bryant has shared that the red bracelets which pay homage to Gigi will be available. Proceeds will benefit the Mama and Mambacita foundation. Vanessa will share a post when they are ready to purchase.
Although Gigi Bryant is no longer with us, May 1 will never be the same. We will always remember the Mambacita, and honor her by playing Gigi’s way.
Haley Graves is a host at AfterBuzz TV. She co-hosts on the panels for NBC’s This Is Us, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and CW’s Legacies.
Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, artist-friendly AfterBuzz TV is the world’s largest digital broadcast network and pop culture news platform, producing post-game ‘after-shows’ for nearly all favorite TV shows, interviewing cast and showrunners and providing the widest video, audio and article coverage of shows, content and influencers than any entertainment news platforms in existence
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