Gianna Bryant’s Orange County school retired her basketball jersey in a touching tribute.
What We Know:
- Students and staff at Harbor Day School in Newport Beach, Ca., took the podium to talk in glowing terms about how Gianna had always been a leader and a joy to be around.
- Her music teacher, Yunga Webb, said that Gigi’s eighth-grade classmates are leaning on each other to cope with the loss. An example of this, the teacher shared is evident in little things like taking attendance every day.
- Webb said in her speech, “She never came to school and bragged about anything. She was one of the most humble people I’ve ever known.”
- Gigi, her father Kobe Bryant, and seven others died when the helicopter they were flying in crashed in Calabasas, Ca., on Jan. 26.
- One of the school’s basketball coaches, Joshua Parks, said Gianna was one of the fiercest competitors he’s ever seen. “She definitely had the ‘Mamba Mentality’ every time she stepped on the floor,” Parks added.
- The jersey retirement ceremony was captured by Vanessa Bryant in several Instagram videos and photos. In one, Vanessa wrote: “My Gigi! I love you! I miss you. You’ve taught us all that no act of kindness is ever too small.”
- Another photo caption read: “My Gianna. God, I miss you. I’ve been so lucky to have woken up to see your gorgeous face and amazing smile for 13 years. Wish it would’ve been until my last breath. Mommy loves you to the moon and back. Infinity plus 1. #2 #Mambacita #GigiBryant.”
Gigi was called Mambacita and had plans of carrying on her father’s legacy and one day playing for the University of Connecticut and the WNBA.