The life of Gianna Bryant

She was 13 years old. She was a basketball player. She died with her father in a helicopter crash. This is Gianna Bryant's story.

Remembering Gianna Bryant

Like her father, Gianna Bryant was a big basketball fan. When asked about her, Kobe Bryant always said that his daughter was the heir to his basketball legacy. Born in 2006, Gianna was the second of the four daughters Kobe had with his wife, Vanessa Laine. She started playing basketball as a very young child and her father became her coach when she was 9. She played on the Lady Mamba team at the Mamba Academy that Kobe founded.

Her relationship with her dad

When she was 11, her father thanked her after winning an Oscar. “My daughter gave me the best piece of advice. I was a little worried about turning this into a film. I’ve never done that, something like that before. And we’re in a house and we’re talking about it as a family and my little 11-year-old Gianna goes ‘Well, dad, you always tell us to go after our dreams. So man up.’ She’s 11. ‘Man up.’ So I had to man up and go for it,” her father recalls. She was very close to her father who called her "Mambacita," based on "Black Mamba," the nickname he picked for himself. Kobe wanted to ensure he was always a part of her development as a basketball player so he started coaching her team. It wasn’t uncommon to visit his Instagram page and find pictures or videos of the two of them playing basketball together. Gianna’s dream was to play for the WNBA and was known to be super competitive just like her dad.

Tragic accident

She died at age 13 in a helicopter crash with her father and seven other people, as they both were on their way to a basketball game. Gianna was expected to play while Kobe would be coaching here team.