The loss of Gianna Bryant is still being felt by her family, friends and the WBNA. The talented basketball player isn’t forgotten, though, she and two of her other Mamba Academy teammates, who were tragically killed in a helicopter crash in January, are being remembered in the most incredible way.
The WBNA are making Gianna, Alyssa Altobelli and Peyton Chester honorary draft picks during Friday’s televised event on ESPN. Vanessa Bryant proudly shared the bittersweet news on her Instagram page.
“Honorary Draft Picks:❤️Gianna Bryant❤️ #mambacita ❤️ Alyssa Altobelli and Peyton Chester❤️ class of 2024,” she wrote in her post.
The deaths of three young, athletic talents, retired NBA superstar Kobe Bryant and five other friends and family members are still hard to comprehend. Vanessa has been sharing her grief on her social media pages with fans as she copes with the fact that her family of six is now a family of four.
She has posted fan tattoo art, videos of Kobe coaching Gigi — as she was affectionately known — and flashback photos of her family. Gianna has also been honored by her school, where they retired her No. 2 jersey and by the University of Connecticut, where she hoped to play college basketball one day.
It’s incredible to see her talent recognized by so many athletic representatives, but it also bears the sadness of what fans will miss in the future. Yet Vanessa has made sure that Gianna and Kobe’s legacy on and off the court is still shining brightly.
The WBNA event kicks off at 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET on Friday, April 17 on ESPN.
Before you go, click here to see the celebrities we’ve lost in 2020.