Vanessa Bryant penned an emotional tribute to Gigi on her 17th birthday.
via: E! News
The 40-year-old shared a pair of throwbacks of her daughter, who she shares with late husband Kobe Bryant, on what would have been her 17th birthday.
“Happy 17th birthday, baby girl,” Vanessa captioned her May 1 Instagram post featuring Gigi smiling on a carousel and another snap of her walking through a theme park. “I love you and miss you so much, sweet Angel.”
In a follow up post, Gigi is seen posing with her sisters Natalia, 20, and Bianka, 6, with Vanessa writing, “Happy birthday, sweet Gigi! We love you to the moon and back infinity +1. Forever & Always,” alongside a red heart emoji.
Rounding out the trio of birthday tributes to Gigi, Vanessa posted a snap of herself Gigi, Natalia and Bianka smiling at the camera. “Te Amo Mambacita,” Vanessa wrote beneath the snapshot. “Happy birthday, baby girl.”
Starting to celebrate a few days early, Vanessa posted custom Nike sneakers that came in a box engraved with “Mambacita” on it alongside a drawing of angel wing with a halo. Also photographed was a jersey that read “Gigi 2.”
“Celebrating my Gigi,” Vanessa wrote on Instagram April 29, “MAMBACITA.”
Vanessa—who also shares daughter Capri, 3, with the NBA legend—has continued to honor Gigi and Kobe after they and eight other people were killed in January 2020 when their private helicopter crashed on the way to a teen basketball tournament at Kobe’s Mamba Sports Academy near Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Last month, Vanessa and her daughters honored the late basketball star’s legacy as his hand and footprints were permanently imprinted outside TCL Chinese Theatre in L.A. Vanessa, Natalia, Bianka and Capri all dressed in black as they unveiled Kobe’s imprints 12 years after his hand and footprints were originally made in 2011. During the ceremony, Natalia gave a heartwarming tribute to her late father.
Calling Kobe the “MVP of girl dads,” the model told the crowd, “Being his daughter is one of the greatest joys of my life, and I hope to continue to embody and cherish the many lessons he has taught me.”
Noting that normally celebrity handprints are swapped out over time, Kobe’s being permanent is what Natalia called “truly astounding.”
“As you visit here for years to come, I encourage you to place your hands in his and take a moment to stand in his shoes,” she added. “This day symbolizes the impact he had on a city he loved and cared for.”
Vanessa Bryant sharing the Nike Kobe 4 Protro “Gigi” shoes.
Scheduled to release on Gianna Bryant’s birthday on May 1. pic.twitter.com/n3qQey46wz
— Kobe Highlights & Motivation (@kobehighlight) April 28, 2023
Vanessa Bryant on IG ?? pic.twitter.com/tExxqDqwHQ
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) May 1, 2023
Vanessa Bryant shares a birthday post to her baby girl Gigi, who would’ve turned just 17 today. pic.twitter.com/g8sJutyQam
— Glock Topickz (@Glock_Topickz) May 1, 2023
Vanessa Bryant and Nike's tribute video in honor of Gigi Bryant ??#PlayGigisWay pic.twitter.com/Lmoj1nVNBJ
— Kobe Highlights & Motivation (@kobehighlight) May 1, 2023