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Gianna Bryant’s ‘Sweet 16’ Birthday is celebrated by Vanessa and Natalia Bryant.

Gianna Bryant’s ‘Sweet 16’ Birthday is celebrated by Vanessa and Natalia Bryant.

On what would have been Gianna’s 16th birthday, Vanessa and Natalia Bryant are paying tribute to her. Vanessa posted a sweet message to her and Kobe Bryant’s late daughter on Instagram on Sunday.

“I’ll always love you!” Gianna, I wish you a very happy birthday. “#Mambacita #2,” the 39-year-old captioned his post.

Vanessa narrated an animated video that was placed next to the message.

“Dear Gianna, I knew one thing was real the moment you imagined winning a WNBA championship. As clips of a young Gigi playing basketball, sitting courtside with her father, and standing with a basketball in her hand played, she said, “You were special.”

“You were born into greatness. However, it was never about what you were born with. It all came down to what you were willing to give to others. I see you fighting alongside someone who is fighting for gender equality. And every time someone puts forth her best effort. I recognize you on the court. “I’ll always love you, basketball,” Vanessa continued.

Kobe’s Oscar-winning animated short, Dear Basketball, was reimagined for the video tribute. Vanessa previously shared a video of Gianna playing basketball in a formal gown, as well as a clip of her on the court mimicking one of her father’s moves.

“Wishing you a happy 16th birthday, baby girl.” Gigi, I adore you! We miss you terribly. She wrote, “#MAMBACITA #5106.” Natalia, Vanessa and Kobe’s oldest daughter, dedicated a message to her father on her Instagram account.

“happy sweet sixteen my dearest gigi,” the 20-year-old wrote alongside a throwback photo of her planting a kiss on her younger sister’s cheek while smiling.

Nike released the Mambacita Sweet 16 as a limited edition shoe in honor of Gianna’s 16th birthday. With the snakeskin pattern, red shoe laces, the number 2 on the soles and insoles, and Gigi and her father’s names on the back of the shoe, the black and white basketball sneaker pays homage to Gigi.

On January 26, 2020, Gianna and her father, as well as seven others, died when the helicopter they were riding in crashed on the way to a basketball tournament. Vanessa, who is also the mother of Bianka, 5, and Capri, 2, has continued her daughter’s mission for equality in sports in the years since the accident.

The mother-of-four made a promise to keep her daughter’s legacy alive while accepting the Be Your Own Champion Award at the Sports Power Brunch in February.

“I want to provide young girls with opportunities to showcase their talents and to dominate in their fields in everything I do,” she said in part of her speech, “whether it’s through the work of our foundation or the storytelling at Granity.” “It was important to Kobe, Gigi embodied it, and it’s something Natalia, Bianka, Capri, and I will always fight for.”