NBA legend Kobi Bryant died in a plane crash on Sunday, January 26, 2020, near Calabasas in Los Angeles. His 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria-Onore also died in the crash with seven others. Gianna and Kobe were enroute to the Mamba Sports Academy to rehearse for the tournament for young players which was set to start on Sunday.
Gianna “Gigi” Bryant was the second daughter of Kobe and Vanessa’s four daughters and was following in her father’s footsteps as a rising basketball star herself. She was born May 1, 2006, and she was an American middle basketball player from Los Angeles, California. Gianna was raised with her older sister Natalia and two younger sisters, Bianka and Capri. Her mother was a model and her father was a retired basketball player. She was the granddaughter of Joe Bryant and great-niece of John “Chubby” Cox. In her otherwise short life, Gigi considered her father as her role model and she always cited him as a reason why she wanted to play in the WNBA, which is the women’s counterpart to the National Basketball Association league. Gigi Bryant played youth basketball for the Mamba Sports Academy, where she was coached by her father until her untimely demise. She played on the competitive team with the club at the U-10 through U-15 levels. She had a very close relationship with her father and she was always spotted by her father’s side. Often, Kobe talked about Gianna as the female version of him. Kobe Bryant wholeheartedly believed that he passes on his “Basketball gene” to his daughter. In an interview with Access Hollywood, Bryant said he loved watching his daughter play.
Her fans also nicknamed her “Mambacita” as a play on words to her father’s famous, “Black Mamba” moniker. According to CBSSports, Kobe Bryant filed to trademark the nickname “Mambacita” for his daughter and planned to use the nickname on athletic clothing. Bryant truly believed in his daughter’s talents and wanted to take advantage of them at an early age. It will be worth checking if the trademark is granted.
Kobe and Gianna Bryant were traveling to a basketball tournament at the Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks when the helicopter they were in crashed in Calabasas. Seven other people were killed in the crash.