Who was Gianna Bryant?

The late American basketball player Gianna Maria Onore Bryant was born in Los Angeles, California USA, on 1 May 2006, meaning that Taurus was her zodiac sign. She was a daughter of the late American professional basketball player Kobe Bean Bryant, who spent all 20 years of his career in National Basketball Association (NBA) with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Gianna and Kobe died early in the morning of 26 January 2020, when the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter in which they were travelling crashed into the side of a mountain in Calabasas, killing all nine people aboard.

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Education and early life

Gianna was raised alongside her three sisters Natalia, Bianka and Capri in Los Angeles, by their father Kobe and mother Vanessa Marie Bryant, who’s today a successful businesswoman, philanthropist and model; Gianna was the second eldest amongst the girls. Kobe and Vanessa’s marriage nearly ended in December 2011, when she filed for divorce, but the two were able to reconcile and they were together until Kobe’s death.

Gianna became passionate about basketball at a very early age, mostly because her father often took her to his games, having noticed that she had developed a love for the sport; she was 10 when she told Kobe that she would one day play in Women’s NBA.

Gianna played for the Mamba Sports Academy, coached by her father; she competed in the U-10 and U-15 leagues.

She was attending her 7th year of elementary school at the time of her death.

Hobbies and interesting facts

Gianna’s #2 jersey at Harbor Day School was retired on 5 February 2020, and she was named honorary draft pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft.

While attending a basketball game together with her father, a fan told Kobe that he had to have a son, to what Gianna replied ‘I got this!’

A fan page for Gianna was launched on Instagram following her death; it’s today followed by close to 20,000 people, and nearly 700 pictures and videos have been uploaded onto it.

She was a huge fan of US women’s national soccer player Sydney Leroux, which was why she wore the jersey #2.

Gianna was a fan of Marvel movies, and some of her favorites were “Guardians of the Galaxy”, “Iron Man” and “Avengers: Infinity War”.

Height, eyes and wealth

Gianna would’ve been 17 today. She had brown eyes and hair, was 5ft 4ins (1.62m) tall and weighed around 120lbs (55kgs).

Gianna didn’t have her own independent net worth at the time of her death, while Kobe’s net worth was estimated at over $600 million.

Who was her father Kobe?

The late American professional basketball player Kobe Bean Bryant was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA, on 23 August 1978, meaning that Virgo was his zodiac sign. He’s regarded as one of the best NBA players of all time; Kobe won five NBA Championships, was the 2008 Most Valuable Player (MVP), and was an All-Star 18 times. He was posthumously inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Kobe was raised alongside his two older sisters in Philadelphia, by their father Joseph Washington ‘Joe’ Bryant who’s an American former professional basketball player, and mother Pamela CoxBryant who’s a housewife. Kobe’s uncle was American former professional basketball player John Arthur ‘Chubby’ Cox III.

Kobe was only three when he began playing basketball, and he cheered for the Los Angeles Lakers; he was six when his father retired from the NBA, and the family thus moved to Rieti, Italy so that Joseph could continue playing there. Kobe liked Italy and eventually became fluent in Italian, while he also became passionate about soccer during his time there.

The family moved back to the US when Kobe was 13, and he studied at Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Philadelphia; looking up to other teenagers who made it into the NBA without attending college, Kobe chose not to continue his education upon matriculating in 1996, thus making himself eligible for the NBA Draft.

He was picked by the Charlotte Hornets, as they had made a deal with the Lakers in which Kobe would then be traded to them; he signed a rookie three-year $3.5 million contract with the Lakers.

Kobe spent most of his time on the bench during his first season, only occasionally entering behind Nick Van Exel and Eddie Jones. He began showing his abilities during his second season with them, averaging 15.4 points per game; he became a starter during the 1998-1999 season, and then signed a new six-year $70 million contract with the Lakers.

In 2000, 2001 and 2002, Kobe and the Lakers won three NBA Championships in a row, however, they lost in the Western Conference semi-finals to the San Antonio Spurs in 2003, reached the NBA Finals in 2004, but were defeated by the Detroit Pistons. He signed a seven-year $136.4 million contract with the Lakers in January 2004.

On 22 January 2006, Kobe scored a career-high 81 points in a win against the Toronto Raptors, but the Lakers were then eliminated in the first round of the 2007 NBA playoffs. They reached the NBA Finals in 2008, but lost to the Boston Celtics, then won against the Houston Rockets in the 2009 NBA Finals, while Kobe was named NBA Finals MVP.

He signed a new three-year $87 million contract with the Lakers on 2 April 2010, and they then won the 2011 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics. The following a couple of years of Kobe’s career were plagued by injuries, while the 2015-2016 season was his last, and he retired on 13 April 2016.

Kobe married Vanessa Laine on 18 April 2001, but their wedding wasn’t attended by his parents, sisters, advisor Arn Tellem and Lakers teammates. Kobe’s parents were dissatisfied with the marriage because Vanessa wasn’t African-American, as well as because they didn’t sign a prenuptial agreement because ‘Kobe loved her too much for one’; he didn’t speak to his parents at all until the birth of his and Vanessa’s first daughter Natalia in January 2003.

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