A touching video showing Kobe Bryant giving court-side pointers to his daughter Gianna has gone viral since their tragic deaths.
The clip taken in December at New York’s Barclays Center shows the NBA great and Gigi chatting and nodding as they watch the Brooklyn Nets v Atlanta Hawks game unfold. Photos taken on the same evening show the pair laughing in their seats.
The father and daughter were confirmed dead in a helicopter crash in Calabasas at 9.47 am PST. They were among nine who perished on board the private helicopter which reportedly belonged to the NBA legend.
Bryant was coach of Gianna’s middle school team. It is believed a young teammate and one of her parents also died in the crash and the group were headed to Bryant’s basketball academy the Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks for practice when the crash occurred.
LA Lakers star Bryant often flew Gianna and her teammates to games and spoke proudly of his daughter’s ambition to play college basketball. He shared several videos of his daughter on Instagram. On being her coach, he told E! Online.
“Gianna’s pretty easy to coach,” he said. “We haven’t had any issues of dad-daughter sort of thing. She’s very competitive and she’s a hard worker, so there haven’t been any issues with that.”
On the podcast, All the Smoke, he told how the pair bonded over the game following his retirement in 2016.
“Before Gigi got into basketball I hardly watched it, but now that’s she’s into basketball, we watch every night. We just had so much fun because it was the first time I was seeing the game through her eyes.”
The pair have been pictured on the sidelines of many games through the years and Bryant referred to Gigi as ‘Mambacita’, referencing his own Black Mamba nickname. He leaves three other daughters and his wife Vanessa.