This past Sunday (May 1) would’ve been Gianna Bryant’s 16th birthday. In her honor, Vanessa Bryant and Nike released a special tribute for her, inspired by Kobe Bryant’s Oscar-winning animation, Dear Basketball.
The minute-long video narrated by Vanessa expressed, “Dear Gianna, From the first time you imagined winning a WNBA Championship, I knew one thing was real. You were special. You came from greatness, but it was never about what you inherited. It was about what you gave to others. When someone stands up for gender equality, I see you fighting alongside of them and every time someone plays their hardest, I know that’s you on the court. Love you, always.”
It was never about what she got from basketball. It was always about what she gave back. Gigi gave inspiration to her teammates, her mentors, and the next generation. #PlayGigisWay #mambamambacitasports pic.twitter.com/u7R3EnknqP
— Nike (@Nike) May 1, 2022
Vanessa also shared a series of photo tributes to GiGi on Instagram, including a famous picture of her tossing up a basketball in heels. She even shared a video compilation of Kobe speaking to Gianna’s greatness and how she was carrying on his legacy.
Natalia, the eldest of the Bryant girls, also shared a birthday message to her sister. “Happy sweet sixteen my dearest gigi,” she wrote. “I love you to the moon and back [crescent moon emoji] forever & always.”
For Gianna’s Sweet 16, Nike also released the “Mambacita Sweet 16” Kobe 6. It’s the first release under the new contract with the Bryant estate, with all proceeds going towards the Mamba and Mambacita Foundation. The packaging includes a personalized note from Vanessa. Furthermore, the Kobe and Gianna Bryant Dream Court is officially open at Pearson Park in Anaheim, CA.
The “Mambacita Sweet 16” Kobe 6 is now the first release under Nike’s new contract with the Bryant Estate.
Celebrating what would have been Gigi’s 16th birthday, its packaging includes a personal note from Vanessa Bryant.
Profits will go to the Mamba and Mambacita Foundation. pic.twitter.com/LOk96OtuEm
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) May 1, 2022