Kobe Bryant memorial: Read Vanessa Bryant’s emotional speech about her daughter Gianna
Vanessa Bryant delivered an emotional speech about her daughter Gianna Bryant at Staples Center on Monday.
“First, I’d like to thank everyone for coming today. The outpouring of love and support that my family has felt from around the world has been so uplifting. Thank you so much for all your prayers.
“I’d like to talk about both Kobe and Gigi. I’ll start with my baby girl first. My baby girl Gianna Bryant is an amazingly sweet, gentle soul. She was always thoughtful. She always would kiss me goodnight, kiss me good morning.
“There were a few occasions where I was absolutely tired from being up with Bianca and Capri. And I thought she had left school without saying goodbye. I would text and say, “No kiss?” And Gianna would reply with, “Mama, I kissed you. You were asleep, and I didn’t want to wake you.: She knew how much her morning and evening kisses meant to me, and she was so thoughtful to remember to kiss me every day.
“She was daddy’s girl, but I know she loves her mama. And she would always tell me and show me how much she loved me. She was one of my very best friends. She loved cake. She loved putting a smile on everyone’s face. Last August, she made a beautiful birthday cake for her daddy. It had fondant and looked like it had blue agate crystals Kobe’s birthday cake looked like it was professionally decorated.
“She made the best chocolate chip cookies. She loved watching cooking shows and “Cupcake Wars” with me, and she loved watching “Survivor” and NBA games on TV with her daddy. She also loved watching Disney movies with her sisters.
“Gigi was very competitive like her daddy. But Gianna had a sweet grace about her. Her smile was like sunshine. Her smile took up her entire face, like mine. Kobe always said she was me. She had my fire, my personality and sarcasm. She was tender and loving on the inside. She had the best laugh. It was infectious. It was pure and genuine.
Vanessa Bryant, Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal were among the speakers in the sold-out tribute.
“Kobe and Gianna naturally gravitated toward each other. She had Kobe’s ability to listen to a song and have all the lyrics memorized after listening to the song a couple of times. It was their secret talent. She was an incredible athlete. She was great at gymnastics, soccer, softball, dance and basketball. She was an incredible dancer too. She loved to swim, dance, do cartwheels, and do jumps into our swimming pool. And Gigi loved her TikTok dances.
“Gigi was confident but not in an arrogant way. She loved helping and teaching other people things. At school, she offered the boys’ basketball coaches to help give the boys’ basketball team some pointers, like the triangle offense. She was very much like her daddy in that they both liked helping people learn new things and master them. They were great teachers.
“Gigi was very sweet. She always made sure everyone was OK. She was our shepherd. She always kept our family together. She loved family traditions; family movie night ... [was] important to her. She always looked out for everyone. She was very much in tune with our feelings and wanted the best for us. Gianna was smart. She knew how to read, speak and write Mandarin. She knew Spanish.
“She had great grades and kept them up, all while becoming an incredible basketball player. She was president of school spirit, on student council. She was director’s assistant for her school play just like her big sister. She was looking forward to graduating eighth grade, and moving on to high school with her big sister Natalia.
“I’m so happy she was given the opportunity to know that she was accepted to the same high school. She was really happy. Gianna made us all proud, and she still does. Gianna never tried to conform. She was always herself. She was a nice person, a leader, a teacher, wearing a white tee, black leggings, a denim jacket. white high-top Converse, and a flannel tied around her waist, and straight hair was her go-to style.
“She had so much swag and rhythm ever since she was a baby. She gave the best hugs and the best kisses. She had gorgeous soft lips like her daddy. she would hug me and hold me so tight. I could feel her love me.”
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