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The Sculpture of Kobe and Gigi Bryant Reminds Us What a Sweet Dad He Was

Wednesday marked two years since Kobe and Gigi Bryant and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash in California. To honor the memory of the nine who lost their lives too soon, artist Dan Medina placed a beautiful sculpture of the basketball star and his 13-year-old daughter at the spot of the crash.

He posted several pictures of the gorgeous sculpture to Instagram yesterday, one of which had the caption: “It’s been two years…January 26, 2020.” He listed the names of all nine who passed away in the tragic crash: Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, and Ara Zobayan, ending it with “Rest In Peace…”

Another picture was a close-up of the back of the sculpture, which shows Kobe hugging Gianna, both of whom are wearing basketball uniforms.

There is also one of the front of the sculpture, which shows the father daughter duo smiling at each other, with the names of the victims printed on the base.

One picture is a close-up shot of the victim’s names, with Kobe’s quote “Heroes come and go, but Legends are forever…”

The last one is just a cropped shot of Kobe’s statue, where you can see the details of him smiling widely.

In an interview with TODAY on Jan. 27, Medina said, “I’m not the biggest sports fan you’ll ever meet, but Kobe, for me, was bigger than basketball. He was an (intellectual), he spoke multiple languages, he was an avid reader. I met people who said that he was maybe the surrogate father or surrogate guardian to their children because of the way he spoke.”

He added that many people came out to see the sculpture, saying, “I’ve had so many parents cry in my arms today.”

This sweet sculpture reminds us just how wonderful of a dad Kobe was, who shared daughters Natalia, 19, Gianna, 13 at the time of her death, Bianka, 5, and Capri, 2, with wife Vanessa Bryant.

On Jan. 28, 2020, Elle Duncan shared on SportsCenter about a time Bryant told her “Girls are the best!” while she was pregnant with her daughter.

“His third daughter, Bianka, was about a year-and-a-half old at the time, so I asked if he wanted more children, and he said that his wife, Vanessa, really wanted to try again for a boy but was sort of jokingly concerned that it would be another girl,” she said. “And I was like, ‘Four girls, are you joking? What would you think? How would you feel?’ And without hesitation he said, ‘I would have five more girls if I could. I’m a ‘girl dad.'”

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times in 2019, Bryant said he wasn’t going to the NBA season opener because Natalia had a volleyball game. He said, “I have my routine at home. It’s not that I don’t want to go, but I’d rather be giving B.B. a shower and sing Barney songs to her. I played 20 years and I missed those moments before.”

He added, “For me to make the trip up to Staples Center, that means I’m missing an opportunity to spend another night with my kids when I know how fast it goes…I want to make sure the days that I’m away from them are days that I absolutely have to be. I’d rather be with them than doing anything else.”

In the same interview, he opened up about his daughter, Gianna. “What I love about Gigi is her curiosity about the game,” Bryant said. “She’s very curious. Even in a heated situation in a game where it’s going back and forth, she can detach herself and come to me and ask a very specific question, which is not common. She’ll come over and say, ‘OK, on this particular trap when I’m trying to close the gap but she’s getting on the outside, do I need to change my angle?’ It’s a very specific question. That’s pretty damn cool.”

After losing her husband and daughter, Vanessa Bryant took to Instagram to post a heartbreaking tribute to her husband and daughter in Jan. 2020.

“My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children, and my beautiful sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taking from us too soon.”

She added, “We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately.”

Our hearts go out to the grieving families remembering this loss on this two-year anniversary.

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