Today would have been Gianna Bryant's 14th birthday, and her mother Vanessa has marked the occasion with a loving and mournful post on Instagram. Gianna died in a helicopter crash in January alongside her father, Kobe.
"Happy 14th birthday to my sweet baby girl, Gianna," Bryant wrote alongside a photo of her daughter. "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. I miss your smile, your hugs and your giggles. I miss EVERYTHING about YOU, Gigi. I LOVE YOU so much!"
Vanessa's emotional post comes just weeks after the 2020 WNBA draft honored Gianna and her other two teammates who passed away in the helicopter crash. Gigi, Alyssa Alotbelli, and Payton Chester were named honorary WNBA draft picks. "These athletes represented the future of the WNBA," said WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert.
"Thank you so much for honoring my Gigi and selecting her to be an honorary draft pick this year," said Vanessa Bryant, expressing her appreciation to the WNBA. "It would have been a dream come true for her, she worked tirelessly every sinlge day. She wanted to be one of the greatest athletes of all time, just like her daddy, so thank you."