'I miss you so much everyday:' Vanessa Bryant remembers daughter Gigi on her 14th birthday

'I miss you so much everyday:' Vanessa Bryant remembers daughter Gigi on her 14th birthday
Posted at 10:49 AM, May 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-01 12:54:12-04

Vanessa Bryant, the wife of late Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, offered a heartfelt tribute to her daughter, Gianna, on what would have been her 14th birthday.

"Happy 14th Birthday to my sweet baby girl, Gianna," Vanessa Bryant wrote on Instagram, alongside a photo of her daughter. "Mommy loves you more than I can ever show you. 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!!!!!!!"

Kobe and Gianna Bryant were both killed in a helicopter crash in southern California on Jan. 26.

Like her father, Gianna was a budding basketball talent. The two were reportedly on their way to Gianna's basketball practice at the time of the crash.

At a memorial service for the two at the Staples Center on Feb. 24, college basketball Oregon's Sabrina Ionescu — the eventual Naismith Player of the Year — remembered Gianna as a fierce competitor with a "fadeaway better than mine."

UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma remembered Gianna's first visit to the team's locker room at the service.

I remember the very first game she came to, and she came into the locker room," Auriemma said. "Here she is, and the look on her face -- the smile, the way her eyes just took everything in, how excited she was to be around, in her mind, royalty."

"It's ironic," he said. "Her father is royalty, and she's excited to be around royalty that looks just like what she wants to be."

See Vanessa Bryant's Instagram post below.