Vanessa Bryant: Dream fulfilled for daughter Gianna

By: - Reporter / @MarkGiongcoINQ
/ 10:57 AM April 18, 2020
Vanessa Bryant

FILE – Vanessa Bryant speaks during a celebration of life for her husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Somewhere in paradise, Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna looked down and smiled as the WNBA made the younger Bryant an honorary draftee on Saturday.

It was what both of them had wanted before a helicopter crash three months ago took their lives and seven others including Gianna’s two teammates Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester, who were also picked as honorary draftees by WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert.


“Thank you so much for honoring my Gigi and selecting her to be an honorary draft pick this year. It would have been a dream come true to her,” an emotional Vanessa Bryant, mother of Gianna and wife of Kobe, said in a video posted by the WNBA on Twitter during the league’s 2020 draft held online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“She worked tirelessly. She wanted to be the greatest athlete of her time just like her daddy. So thank you for honoring my little girl. Kobe and Gigi loved the WNBA,” she added.


At just 13 years old, Gianna had so much promise and big dreams. She looked and played like her dad while also sharing the basketball legend’s mannerisms on the court.

“I want to congratulate all of this year’s draft picks so congratulations. Work hard. Neve settle. Use that Mamba Mentality,” Vanessa said.

Oregon star Sabrina Ionescu was selected No. 1 overall by the New York Liberty.

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TAGS: 2020 WNBA Draft, Basketball, Gianna Bryant, Kobe Bryant, Sabrina Ionescu, Vanessa Bryant, WNBA
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