The death of Kobe Bryant in January 2020 continues to leave a giant hole in the hearts of friends, family, and fans around the world. On Wednesday (March 15), the Los Angeles Lakers legend had his place in history cemented — literally. Vanessa Bryant and daughters Natalia, Capri, and Bianka Bryant were at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood for the unveiling of a concrete imprint of Kobe’s hands and feet that will be on display outside the venue in its famed Forecourt of the Stars.
Kobe is the first athlete to have his hands and feet memorialized at the Chinese Theatre. For the past century, countless actors and Hollywood professionals have left their mark on the forecourt. His selection was a fitting choice, as he made history in 2018 as the first athlete to win an Oscar with his short film, Dear Basketball. Notable additions in recent years include Regina King, Mariah Carey, Lionel Richie, Cicely Tyson, and Quincy Jones.
Kobe’s eldest daughter, 20-year-old Natalia, took to the podium for a heartfelt speech at the ceremony celebrating his inclusion in the iconic collection of hand and footprints.
“I’m honored to be here today to recognize the man that we all knew and love my dad, Kobe Bryant,” Natalia said in her address, per ABC News. “While most people knew him as a basketball player or a storyteller, I got to know and love him as my dad. And let me tell you, he is the MVP of girl dads, to say the least.”
“Being his daughter is one of the greatest joys of my life, and I hope to continue to embody and cherish the many lessons he has taught me,” she continued, speaking on his continuing legacy today and his inclusion in history with him joining the stars in the Chinese Theatre’s forecourt. “As you visit here for years to come, I encourage you to place your hands in his and take a moment to stand in his shoes. This will be a treasure for the city of Los Angeles and my dad’s fans from all over the world to hold and to cherish.”
Natalia shared that her dad’s love for movies led her to pursue film in college herself. She ended her emotional speech by directly addressing her father and mentioning her sister Gianna, who tragically died with him in the January 2020 helicopter crash. “Dad, you’re an icon, a legend, a storyteller, and most importantly, the best girl dad any young woman could ever dream of,” she said. “I’m honored to be here to represent you and our family, and we are extremely proud of you. We will love you forever and always. Love, Natalia, Gianna, Bianka, Capri, and Mommy.”