Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna tragically died the 26th of January 2020 in a helicopter crash en route to a basketball game in Ventura County, California. But while the tragedy itself is well known, what many don’t know much about is how Kobe’s widow, Vanessa Laine Bryant,
and their surviving children have coped with devastating loss over the course of the past year. After all, as the old saying goes, “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react that matters.”
How Vanessa Laine Bryant and her children are getting through tough times
Just weeks before Kobe and Gianna’s tragic deaths, Showtime Basketball’s All the Smoke podcast ran an interview in which Bryant discussed just how it was that he and Vanessa had managed to make it through.
Although their mutual drive to succeed was part of it, the rough times they weathered together also made them stronger, he said. That’s all the beauty of it: having the persistence and determination to work through things — very, very tough things — and we’ve been able to do that.
Vanessa Laine Bryant: Maybe it was exactly this determination to work through very tough things that has helped Vanessa Laine Bryant and her children make it through. Vanessa and Kobe had four daughters together, and Kobe liked to call them his princesses.
While Kobe’s relationship with his parents was strained, he was an attentive and devoted father to his kids. In the weeks leading up to his death, he posted numerous pictures of his girls. He was a very vocal about how proud he was of his daughters. Just a week before his death, he celebrated the 17th birthday of his eldest girl Natalia, posting a gorgeous picture of her in a red dress.
“Happy Birthday my baby. I love you beyond measure. You will always be my little Principessa #17,” he wrote. Natalia is known for her prowess as a volleyball player. Gianna was a budding basketball talent keen on following in her father’s footsteps.
She wanted to join the WNBA. In 2018, Kobe told Jimmy Kimmel, “I’m telling you, the best thing that happens is when we go out and fans come up to me and she’ll be standing next to me, they’ll be like, ‘You got to have a boy. You and V got to have a boy, somebody to carry on the tradition, the legacy.’ She’s like, ‘oi, I got this.
You don’t need no boy for that, I got this.’ That’s right, yes you do. You got this.” Bianka is just 4 years old and the couple’s third-born. She looks a lot like her father. Nicknamed “BB,” Kobe was known to share lots of pics with little Bianka. Vanessa maintains that she is a sweet, joyful child with a contagious smile.
Capri, born in June 2019, is the youngest Bryant, and was only six months old when her father and sister passed. Given “Kobe” as a middle name, her nickname “Koko” grew from that. At first, Kobe hesitated to give his youngest child his own name, but, as we all know, it turned out to be timely, as he had always said he hoped his children would carry on his legacy in some way.
Vanessa lost the love of her life
Anyone who’s ever lost someone close to them knows that you never fully get over it, but time heals all wounds—or so they say. Vanessa Laine Bryant and her children may not be over the tragic passing of Kobe and Gianna, but one thing’s for sure: they have stood by one another in support and love, propping each other up as needed,
while also taking advantage of any opportunity to remember and honour their dearly departed. In June, nearly five months after the crash, Vanessa celebrated Capri’s first birthday, posting an affectionate throwback photo of herself and Kobe cradling their baby girl.
“Happy 1st Birthday Capri! Mommy, Daddy, Nani, Gigi and BB love you SO much!!!” she wrote. “God Bless you sweet princess. Capri Kobe Bryant a.k.a. ‘Koko-Bean’ named after her dearly missed daddy, Kobe Bean Bryant. We miss you SO much Gigi and Daddy.”