As we all pay tribute to the lives of one of the greatest basketball players to ever play the game, we also remember the life of Gigi Bryant and what she was destined to become.
Gianna Marie-Onere Bryant or Gigi, as her late father fondly called her, was the second among four sisters. The 13-year-old was a member of the Mamba Academy where the Black Mamba himself served as the team's coach.
Gigi was the student of the game and an embodiment of what his father's Mamba Mentality stood for: The mindset of pursuing excellence and being a better version of herself was evident in Gigi.
Kobe admitted that Gigi's persistence played a major influence on rediscovering and strengthening his interest in basketball and the NBA. She wanted to learn more about the game and approach the sport as cerebral as her father did—earning her the nickname "Mambacita".
As seen in multiple videos online, Gigi is constantly working out with or without her father, absorbing everything needed to be one step above everyone else. It helps that she's the daughter of an 18-time All-Star, but the dedication and passion to improve were all on her.
Like Father, Like Daughter
Whether it's watching courtside of an NBA game, or shooting hoops in heels after a school dance, Gigi was consistently doing her part to get better. She was chasing greatness and had the same hunger for success as her father did.
Her work ethic translated as well on the court. But what stood out the most was her impeccable ability to replicate her father’s moves at such a young age. Only a few can pull off a contested fadeaway jumper like Kobe, and Gigi is one of them. With the moves of a Laker great copied and studied in every angle, the ceiling definitely was high for Gigi.
The Heir Of Bryant
Kobe was always told to "have a son one day" to continue his legacy. But Kobe was well aware that he didn’t need a son to carry out his name on the basketball court. He was certain that Gigi would do that.
And just like his father, Gigi knew herself that she will live out the Mamba name.
In Kobe's interview with Jimmy Kimmel, the five-time champion revealed that Gigi had what it took to defend herself when people tell him to have a son. "She's like, 'Oy! I got this! You don't need a boy for that!' And I'm like, 'that's right! Yes, you do, you got this!'" Kobe shared.
Kobe also spoke in a recent interview with CNN that he believes that there are certain WNBA players who can make the jump to the NBA.
Gigi knew that she could have achieved the same heights the players Kobe held in high regard. She recognized the talent she had and continued to work on her game. She recognized the greatness in her and she knew she was next in line as the next Bryant great. She will be missed.