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Kobe Bryant and Rising Basketball Star Daughter, Gigi, Perish in Helicopter Crash

Gianna and Kobe Bryant Collage Bellyitchblog.com
Gianna and Kobe Bryant Collage Bellyitchblog.com

Photos: Vanessa Bryant’s Instagram, Getty

Sad news about the family of Vanessa Bryant covered plenty in this blog over the past 10 years: her husband, legendary NBA player Kobe Bryant and their 13 year old daughter Gianna “Gigi” Marie-Onore died along with the pilot of a helicopter they were traveling in this morning and reportedly, another parent Orange  and young player, on their way to a tournament in Thousand Oaks, California.

Our thoughts are with Vanessa and their other three surviving daughters 17-year old Natalia, 3-year old Bianka and 7-month old Capri, and the friends and family of all who perished.

While Kobe was known for being a 20-year vet, the third highest scoring player in NBA history, a 5-time NBA champ, MVP Award winner and 18-times All-Star player, Gigi was coming into her own in the sport.

At just 13-years old, she stood pretty tall at 5 feet 10 inches and playe for an AAU team, the  Los Angeles Lady Mamba girls basketball team, which Kobe coached.

Before her untimely death, Gigi  dreamed of one day playing for legendary coach Geno Auriemma at Connecticut and to eventually join the WNBA.

According to a recent Los Angeles Times report, Kobe recently took her to see Los Angeles Sparks ,Phoenix Mercury, and Las Vegas Aces games.

Mom was also a fan, naturally, of her budding basketball star daughter and her personal Instagram feed featured lots of photos and videos of Gigi at play.

vanessa bryant inst of gigi

credit: Vanessa Bryant

A video posted by Baller TV via ESPN showed Gianna knocking down a stepback jumper during an AAU game with her club team which drew comparison to her dad, also her trainer and coach, obviously.

 

Kobe admitted that since retiring in 2016, he only re-started watching basketball because of Gigi’s love of the sport.

“Before Gigi got into basketball I hardly watched it, but now that’s she’s into basketball, we watch every night,” Kobe told former NBA players Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on the Showtime Basketball podcast All the Smoke.

Since his Jersey was retired in 2017, he had not been seen courtside at a Lakers game until recently with his daughter.

“We just had so much fun because it was the first time I was seeing the game through her eyes,” the five-time NBA champion said of sharing the experience with his daughter.

“It wasn’t me sitting there, you know, as an athlete or a player or something like that, and you know it’s like about me, and I don’t like that,” he added. “It was her, she was having such a good time.”

RIP to both. What a tragic loss for the sports world and the family.

Stunning: Eva Marcille’s Polished Pregnancy Looks

America’s Next Top Model Cycle 3 winner, actress and model Eva Marcille is coasting into her third pregnancy and looking chic in body con while doing it.

The Real Housewives of Atlanta Bravo TV franchise star is usually known for her flowy Bohemian, carefree looks and faux locs and ultra long braids, but recently, she’s pulled it all in and gone more polished while attending formal and red carpet events this pregnancy.

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That tummy getting round? Happy Sunday

A post shared by Eva Marcille (@evamarcille) on

Earlier on, she hosted an event in a mustard colored sleeveless pencil skirt dress.

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Mrs. Sterling shed the extra hair and went dark and closely cropped while donning another bare shoulder white bump hugging dress under a white coat.

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And most recently, the Girlfriend Confidential: LA alum attended the launch of co-star Cynthia Bailey‘s new wine shop, The Bailey Wine Cellar (the same event where Bailey’s boyfriend, ESPN sports commentator Mike Hill proposed), in a brown off the shoulder dress.

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Love it all!