Vanessa Bryant Shares Heartwarming Message On Daughter Gianna's Birthday

Friday, May 1st 2020, 5:04 pm
By: CBS News

Gianna Bryant would have turned 14 years old Friday and to commemorate the special day, her mother Vanessa shared a touching tribute to her "sweet baby girl." Earlier this year, the teen's life was sadly cut short in a helicopter crash that also killed her father, NBA legend Kobe Bryant, and seven others. 

"Happy 14th Birthday to my sweet baby girl, Gianna. Mommy loves you more than I can ever show you," she wrote on Instagram. "You are part of MY SOUL forever. I miss you so much everyday. I wish I could wake up and have you here with me. I miss your smile, your hugs and your giggles. I miss EVERYTHING about YOU, Gigi. I LOVE YOU so much!!!!!!!"

Gianna, who also goes by "Gigi," was the 41-year-old's second-oldest daughter with Vanessa.

In the birthday post, Bryant's widow called on fans to wear red in remembrance of her daughter who was fond of red bows and as a symbol of love and life.

"Gianna loved to wear a red bow in all of her school pictures. Red means love and life. To commemorate Gigi's birthday today, please consider wearing red, caption an act of kindness or show how you will play Gigi's way since she always gave everything she did her all and led with kindness," she wrote.

The post was accompanied by a picture of a wristband with the words "Gigi Bryant" and "Mambacita," the nickname her father used and which many people came to associate with the young basketball star, who was following in his footsteps with dreams of being a part of the University of Connecticut's women's basketball team.

Vanessa shared photos of people wearing the wristband in support of her late daughter and revealed she plans to make the wristbands available for purchase. The proceeds will benefit the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation.

First published on May 1, 2020 / 4:17 PM

© 2020 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.