Natalia Bryant Resurfaced On Social Media and Paid a Sweet Tribute to Kobe and Gianna

We’ve seen all kinds of people speak out following the deaths of Kobe and Gianna Bryant — from their friends and family members to their basketball peers. But one person we haven’t heard much about is the NBA star’s eldest daughter, Natalia Bryant.

Ever since the Jan. 26 tragedy, Bryant has remained out of the spotlight. But over the weekend of March 6, the 17-year-old emerged and was seen honoring her father and sister. Here’s a closer look.

Vanessa, Kobe, Natalia, and Gianna Bryant at a movie premiere in March 2018
Vanessa, Kobe, Natalia, and Gianna Bryant at a movie premiere in March 2018 | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images North America

How Natalia Bryant paid tribute to her father and sister

On March 8, her mother, Vanessa, shared photos of Bryant on her way to her winter formal. Ahead of the event, Bryant stopped and posed for pictures in front of a mural of Kobe and Gianna, who died tragically in a helicopter crash back in January. The painting shows Kobe planting a kiss on Gianna’s head as she smiles and rests her head on his shoulder.

“❤️ my babies. Natalia,” Vanessa captioned the post, which shows Natalia beaming in a blue and white dress with polka dot-like designs and beige heels.

Fans were delighted to see that Natalia was in good spirits — even if it was just for a moment.

“Beautiful to see her smile,” one person said in the comment section. “Both Kobe and Gigi are [shining] bright for you and the girls.” 

“Continue to shine bright young queen 👑 🌟,” wrote Chris Bosh’s wife, Adrienne. “You have done an amazing job @vanessabryant ❤️ Love you.”

Khloé Kardashian also showed love, leaving behind a string of red heart emojis. 

A recap of the crash that killed Kobe and Gianna Bryant

Kobe, 41, and Gianna, 13, had just left the Los Angeles area and were on their way to a basketball tournament in Thousand Oaks, California when their helicopter crashed into a hillside. The two of them and all other seven passengers are thought to have died instantly from the crash.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation, but engine failure has been ruled out. There are suspicious that the crash might have been weather-induced, as the helicopter was traveling in thick fog at the time of the accident.

Moments before the helicopter went down, pilot Ara Zobayan told air traffic controllers via radio that he was going to fly higher to clear a cloud layer. It was his final transmission.

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My Gigi

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Kobe and Gianna Bryant were honored in a public memorial

Kobe and Gianna were reportedly laid to rest in a private ceremony on Feb. 7 that was exclusive to family and friends. But on Feb. 24, fans and supporters got to attend a public memorial for the two, where Vanessa delivered a moving eulogy in honor of Kobe and Gianna.

“God knew they couldn’t be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to heaven together,” Vanessa said in part. “I’ll never get to see my baby girl walk down the aisle, have a father-daughter dance with her daddy, dance on the dance floor with me or have babies of her own.”

But she has promised to try to stay strong for their other daughters: Natalia, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 8 months.

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My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately. There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon. I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever. Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality. To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org. To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org. Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me. #Mamba #Mambacita #GirlsDad #DaddysGirls #Family ❤️

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