Students, faculty, and teachers at Harbor Day School presented a touching tribute to Gianna Bryant on Wednesday night, less than two after she was killed in a helicopter crash alongside her father, Kobe Bryant.
Vanessa Bryant shared the touching event via Instagram, posting photos and videos of moments throughout the night. One of the first posts showed large arrangements of red balloons next to Gianna's school picture and dozens of roses shaped into a "2"—Gianna's jersey number.
"My Gianna. God I miss you," Vanessa captioned the photo. "I’ve been so lucky to have woken up to see your gorgeous face and amazing smile for 13 years. Wish it would’ve been until my last breath. Mommy loves you to the moon and back. Infinity plus 1."
During the ceremony, Harbor Day students, faculty, and staff shared some heartfelt words about Gianna, reflecting on her compassion, intelligence, and talent. After Gianna's classmates performed Maroon 5's "Memories," the school's music teacher Yunga Webb spoke about Gianna's positivity and humbleness.
"I chose that song because I intend to keep Gianna with us in our own special way ..." Webb told attendees. "I taught Gianna since the fifth grade. I want to speak to her character, mostly. This is a person who never slung mud ... Talking bad about others? I never heard her do that. She was always above that ... She didn't engage in these kind of trivial conversations that were not positive. She stayed positive. That's something I'll always remember about her ..."
Webb continued: "Gianna has been affiliated and close to major contributors of the world. But she never came to school and bragged about anything. She was one of most humble people I'd ever known. And that says a lot about her character. She didn't need to be brag, she just needed to be a light were she stood ... her presence is greatly missed."
Gianna's middle school basketball coaches also shared some anecdotes that highlighted her commitment to the sport as well as her skills, determination, and unparalleled leadership skills. At the end of the ceremony, one of the coaches announced the retirement of Gianna's jersey.
"She will be the last person to wear the No. 2 for a Seahawks basketball team," one of the coaches said. "We hope that when you look at her jersey hanging in our gym, you will remember Gianna and be inspired to work hard and be passionate about whatever your interest is ... I hope that seeing Gianna's jersey will inspire you to keep alive Gianna's unique ability to recognize when a friend is having a difficult day, and share a kind word with them, giving them a hug or a smile, and let them know that you care, just like Gianna would. We love you, Gianna, and you will always be in our hearts."
You can see some of the photos and videos from the tribute ceremony below.