It’s been almost three years since Kobe Bryant and 13-year-old daughter Gianna (aka “Gigi”) lost their lives in a helicopter crash, but Vanessa Bryant is making sure her husband and daughter’s contributions to basketball live on. The Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation and Body Armour teamed up together to inspire the next generation of athletes in Chicago by renovating several basketball courts in their honor.
Vanessa shared the exciting news with her Instagram followers, writing, “So proud of our first renovated court with @DrinkBODYARMOR in Chicago. More courts and clinics to come!!! #PlayGigisway #MambaForever.” The post also included a video clip showing their names on center court, along with the #PlayGigisWay on the sidelines. The most touching part of the tribute is Kobe’s number “8” and Gigi’s number “2” at each of the free-throw lines. It was a thoughtful and well-planned design for the community courts.
Vanessa has been active in taking over the projects her husband left behind, even after facing unimaginable grief. “I guess the best way to describe it is that Kobe and Gigi motivate me to keep going,” she told People in 2021. “They inspire me to try harder and be better every day. Their love is unconditional, and they motivate me in so many different ways.” She understands the enormity of Kobe’s contributions to the game of basketball and the impact Gigi had as a young female athlete — she doesn’t want anyone to forget how special they both were.
The new courts in Chicago are just the beginning of a huge push to make a difference on a local level when it comes to the game of basketball. Vanessa is “finding the light in darkness” by honoring Kobe and Gigi for years to come.
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