Vanessa Bryant honors late daughter Gianna's 15th birthday: 'I wish you were here with us'

Elise Solé
·2 min read
Kobe Bryant carries his daughter Gianna, alongside wife Vanessa and daughter Natalia in 2010. (Photo: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)
Kobe Bryant carries his daughter Gianna, alongside wife Vanessa and daughter Natalia in 2010. (Photo: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

Vanessa Bryant honored her daughter Gianna on what would have been her 15th birthday, more than one year after the teen and her NBA father Kobe Bryant died in a California helicopter crash. 

"Dear Gianna, Happy 15th Birthday!" Vanessa, 38, wrote on Instagram Saturday. "I love you! I miss you everyday! I wish you were here with us. There are no words to express how much I miss you. I love you Mamacita!" 

On January 26, 2020, Kobe, a retired player for the Los Angeles Lakers and Gianna, along with seven others, were riding in a helicopter to a local sporting event when the aircraft crashed in Calabasas, amid poor weather conditions, killing everyone on board. Kobe and Vanessa had been married for 19 years and shared three daughters: Natalia, 18, Bianka, 4, and Capri, 1. 

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Viola Davis also wished the teen a happy "heavenly" birthday, posting, "You will be forever remembered. Forever loved."

Vanessa has honored her husband and daughter on important occasions — on Saturday, she launched the Mambacita clothing line, with the title a nickname of Gianna, with all proceeds going toward the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, which "exists to further Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s legacy through charitable endeavors in sports." 

"In honor of my Gigi’s 15th Birthday," wrote Vanessa, sharing photos of the line. 

And Vanessa has noted the couple's wedding anniversary (they were married for 18 years), Valentine's Day (Kobe's favorite holiday) and Father's Day by posting beautiful images of the couple. She also marked Gianna's middle school graduation day and got tribute tattoos on her neck and wrist. 

On the one-year passing of their deaths, Vanessa spoke openly about her sorrow, writing on Instagram, “I miss my baby girl and Kob-Kob so much, too. I will never understand why/how this tragedy could’ve happened to such beautiful, kind and amazing human beings. It still doesn’t seem real. Kob, we did it right. Gigi, you still make mommy proud. I love you!” 

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