As a retired NBA legend, Kobe Bryant was enjoying a second career leg in media and setting his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, a promising athlete, up for her own success as a burgeoning basketball player. Tragically, all of that was cut short when both Kobe and Gianna died, along with seven others, in a fatal helicopter crash on Sunday afternoon (Jan. 26).
Kobe had been actively planning for his daughter’s future, as TMZ now reports that Gianna’s own “Mambacita” trademark—a play on her father’s “Black Mamba” nickname—had been well underway at the time of her death.
According to the outlet, Kobe filed for the Mambacita trademark name on Dec. 30. His filing documents revealed that Kobe had planned to market her nickname on sportswear, including shirts, shorts, hats, jerseys, sweatpants, sweatshirts and hoodies. Kobe affectionately called his daughter Mambacita on social media, acknowledging her star player status at his Mamba Academy and commending her “familiar looking” skills.
Kobe and Gianna were reportedly on their way from Orange County, CA to her basketball game in Los Angeles on Sunday (Jan. 26) when they were killed in the helicopter crash. Alyssa Altobelli, who played basketball with Gianna at Kobe’s Mamba Academy, was also killed in the crash, along with her mother and father.
Kobe shard a clip of Alyssa and Gianna playing basketball against each other back in November.
“I hate seeing my #teammamba girls play against each other,” he captioned the Instagram post. “This is GREAT defense by our mamba pg Alyssa Altobelli and a familiar looking fade by our 2gd the #Mambacita.”
Mother and daughter Sarah and Payton Chester, basketball coach and P.E. teacher Christina Mauser and Kobe’s private helicopter pilot Ara Zobayan were also killed in the crash.
The National Transportation Safety Board later confirmed that the helicopter was a Sikorsky S-76. The cause of the fatal crash is currently under investigation.