Kobe and Gianna Bryant Laid to Rest in Private Ceremony
As fans prepare for a public memorial for the two, it’s being reported that Bryant and Gianna were recently laid to rest in a private ceremony. Here’s everything you need to know about the accident and the private funeral that was held for the fallen stars.
A recap of the crash that killed Kobe and Gianna Bryant
Reports say that Bryant, Gianna, and seven others had been on their way to Thousand Oaks, California for a basketball game when the crash occurred. Gianna, a rising basketball star, was supposed to play in the game and Bryant was reportedly expected to coach it.
Shortly after departing from Orange County, where the Bryants lived, the chopper encountered a thick fog. Ahead of the accident, pilot Ara Zobayan told air traffic controllers via radio that he was going to try to clear a cloud layer. But mere moments later, the chopper hit a hillside, killing everyone on board.
The other victims were friends of the Bryants. They included basketball coach Christina Mauser, mother-and-daughter Sarah and Payton Chester, baseball coach John Altobelli, his daughter Alyssa Altobelli and wife Keri Altobelli. Gianna was only 13 while Bryant was 41.
Officials are still investigating the crash, at the time of this writing.
A private funeral is held for Kobe and Gianna Bryant
According to Entertainment Tonight, Bryant and Gianna were laid to rest in a private ceremony on Friday, Feb. 7. The funeral was reportedly held at a local funeral home with “open courtyards, meticulous landscaping, and flowing fountains,” according to a statement on its website.
It’s unclear how many people attended, but the event was strictly for friends and family only. Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, and their other children — Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months — were likely among the guests.
“Vanessa and the family wanted a private service to mourn their loss,” a source told the outlet. “The ceremony was extremely hard for everyone as it’s still hard for them to grasp they lost two beautiful souls.”
Vanessa has been speaking about the loss and the resulting pain on her Instagram page. In a recent post, she said she had been struggling to “accept that both Kobe and Gigi are gone” but noted in another message that she was trying to stay strong and “keep pushing.”
A public memorial for Kobe and Gianna Bryant is coming up
Fans will have a chance to pay their respects and say goodbye to Bryant, his daughter, and the other victims at a public memorial on Feb. 24. It’ll take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The date honors the number Bryant wore for much of his NBA career.
Vanessa announced the news on her Instagram page, sharing a flyer that features yellow and purple butterflies in honor of Bryant’s longtime team, The Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant spent his entire 20-season career with the Lakers before retiring in 2016.
“There will absolutely be a memorial to mark the contributions of this incredible man and not only him, but to commemorate the loss of his daughter and all the other families that were there,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti previously told the The Los Angeles Times.
“We’ve been talking every day to the Lakers, and most importantly, to [Vanessa] as well,” he added. “I think one message that I would say is this is not just about a man who was a basketball player, this is about a father, this is about a leader, this is about a filmmaker, this is about an artist, this is about somebody who was so much more than just how he was on the court.”
More details are expected to be announced in the coming days. Stay tuned.