Vanessa Bryant Pays Tribute To ‘Sweet Angel’ Gigi On Her 17th Birthday

The Bryant family has a permanent spot in the world’s hearts and minds, and since the tragic passing of Kobe and Gigi, that love has only deepened.

Vanessa Bryant took time today to honor her daughter on what would have been her 17th birthday.

“Happy Birthday, baby girl. I love and miss you so much, sweet Angel,” she said. “Te Amo Mambacita,” she added in a post on Instagram. “We love you to the moon and back infinity +1. Forever & Always.”

Bryant posted the touching caption alongside various photos of the smiling teenager. The world stood still on the day a helicopter crash claimed the lives of Kobe, Gigi, and seven other victims on their way to a youth basketball game.

Gigi’s older sister, Natalia Bryant, also paid tribute to her sibling via Instagram, posting a photo of the two embracing with the caption, “Happy 17th Birthday Sweet Gigi. I love you forever and always.” She continued, “You are the dancing Queen, Young & Sweet, Only Seventeen.”

Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna Bryant attend a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center on December 29, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

Gigi’s legacy has echoed loudly throughout the world of sports and entertainment in the years since her untimely passing, with “Play Gigi’s Way” becoming a rallying call for everyone with a passion to be the best at what they do. Sportswear giant NIKE has dedicated the new Kobe IV Protro “Mambacita” to the memory of Gigi, which will benefit the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation. In a post on Twitter, the sneaker brand said, “We dare you to #PlayGigisWay, to be competitive, joyful, and curious and never take any opportunity for granted, just like Gigi.”

The matriarch of the Bryant family also celebrated her wedding anniversary on April 18th. Vanessa Bryant and the late NBA icon were married for 19 years before his death. “Happy anniversary, baby. I love you @kobebryant ❤️ #22,” she said in a post honoring their love.