Vanessa Bryant, the widow of late Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, has shared her first public statement since her husband Kobe and her 13-year-old daughter Gianna passed away in a helicopter crash on Sunday, January 26.
“My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time,” Vanessa — who married Kobe Bryant on April 18, 2001 — wrote on Instagram, making her first public statement since the shocking and tragic news broke.
“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.
Additionally, Vanessa said that the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. If you would like to donate to the foundation, you can do so by visiting MambaOnThree.org.
Kobe and Gianna Bryant were two of the nine victims in the Calabasas, California helicopter crash. In addition to the Bryants, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, and Ara Zobayan were killed in the horrific accident.
Bryant, a 5-time NBA Champion and 18-time NBA All-Star, will be remembered as one of the greatest basketball players in the history of the sport.
The thoughts and prayers of the entire BroBible team out go out to the friends, family, and loved ones of the Bryant family and the families of all the victims during this extremely difficult time. May Kobe, Gianna, and all of the victims of the crash rest in peace. Mamba Forever.
Eric is a New York City-based writer who still isn’t quite sure how he’s allowed to have this much fun for a living and will tell anyone who listens that Gotham City is canonically in New Jersey. Follow him on Twitter @eric_ital for movie and soccer takes or contact him email@example.com