Vanessa Bryant made her first public appearance since Kobe and Gianna Bryant were tragically killed in a helicopter crash. She fought through tears as she shared memories of her late husband and their late daughter during their memorial service.
As she stood in front of 20,000 people in the Staples Center, she thanked everyone for the amount of love that they’ve shown her and her family since her husband and daughter passed.
“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,” Bryant said.
She then spoke about her daughter Gianna and remembered how she was such a daddy’s girl and wanted to change how everyone viewed women’s sports.
“She was daddy’s girl, but I knew she loved her mama,” Bryant said.
“Gigi would have most likely become the best player in the WNBA,” Bryant said proudly, prompting applause from the crowd.
She continued, “She would have made a huge difference. She would have made a huge difference for women’s basketball. Gigi was motivated to change the way everyone viewed women in sports. She wrote papers in school defending women and wrote about how the unequal pay difference for the NBA and the WNBA leagues wasn’t fair.”
She then went on to remember her husband, Kobe.
“I couldn’t see him as a celebrity, nor just an incredible basketball player,” she said. “He was my sweet husband, and the beautiful father of our children. He was mine.”
She said that their relationship was “an amazing love story” and two “perfectly imperfect people making a beautiful family.”
Bryant also spoke about her husband’s dedication to their daughters and said that he was the “MVP of girl dads.”
To end her speech, she said, “God knew they couldn’t be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to heaven together. Babe, you take care of our Gigi. I got Nani, BB, and Coco. We are still the best team. We love and miss you, booboo and Gigi. May you both rest in peace, and have fun in heaven until we meet again. We love you both, and miss you. Forever and always, mommy.”
Watch Vanessa’s tearful tribute below.