Exactly one year ago today, on January 26, 2020, NBA legend Kobe Bryant passed away. His 13-year old daughter Gianna and seven others were tragically killed in a helicopter crash in Southern California. The former Laker superstar was 41.

On the first anniversary of Bryant’s death, Kobe’s widow and Gianna’s mother, Vanessa Bryant, posted a heartfelt letter to Instagram sent to her from one of Gianna’s best friends from school named Aubrey.

“I hope that in the midst of your intense sadness, you catch a glimpse of joy in who the daughter you created and raised was,” the letter said. “You did it right, Mrs. Bryant, and we are all eternally grateful to you.”


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A post shared by Vanessa Bryant 🦋 (@vanessabryant)

While Kobe was a legendary NBA superstar, he was more than just an athlete. Bryant became a god-like figure who shared his gifts with the world. Bryant became a filmmaker and won an Oscar. He was a storyteller who published multiple books. He was a philanthropist and established the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation.

Most notably, he became a “Girl Dad” to his four daughters and showed his pride in them through many avenues. One of these avenues was through coaching his daughter Gianna’s basketball team. Unfortunately, Gianna and Kobe were on the way to one of Gianna’s basketball games when the fatal crash occurred.

Bryant was arguably the best basketball player to exist. Between 2000 and 2010, he won five championships, two Finals MVPs and one MVP Award. Bryant’s legacy is one that will not be forgotten, and it will live through his loved ones.

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