Gianna and her NBA star father, Kobe Bryant, were killed in a January helicopter crash, along with seven others.
“Happy 14th Birthday to my sweet baby girl, Gianna. Mommy loves you more than I can ever show you,” Vanessa wrote in the tribute to her daughter on Instagram. “You are part of MY SOUL forever. I miss you so much everyday,” she said. “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!!!!!!!”
Check out the post below.
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Happy 14th Birthday to my sweet baby girl, Gianna. 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!!!!!!! ❤️???❤️
On April 17, GiGi was posthumously awarded an honorary WNBA draft pick, along with her fellow Mamba Academy teammates Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester.
Altobelli and Chester were among nine people who died in the helicopter crash. Their family members recorded thank you speeches for the honor including Vanessa, who recalled both her daughter and husband’s passion for basketball.
“Thank you so much for honoring my Gigi and selecting her to be an honorary draft pick this year. It would’ve been a dream come true for her,” Vanessa said. “She worked tirelessly every single day. She wanted to be one of the greatest athletes of all time, just like her daddy. So thank you. Thank you for honoring my little girl. Kobe and Gigi loved the WNBA.”
Vanessa also posted an emotional tribute to Gianna, noting how proud she was of her daughter for being the “youngest draft pick.”
“God I miss you baby,” the mother of four wrote. “You deserved to live a long, healthy and happy life. I wish I could hold you and tell you how proud I am of you. You’re the best, baby girl. Mommy loves and misses you more than I could ever express.”
Vanessa is also mom to daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and 10-month-old Capri.
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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. ❤️Please use the hashtag #PlayGigisWay ❤️Thank you. 5-1-06 Mambacita (We are in the process of making this bracelet available for proceeds to benefit our Mamba and Mambacita foundation. I will update you with a post when we have them available for purchase).
The surviving members of the Altobelli family and Mauser family have filed wrongful death lawsuits against the helicopter company Island Express after John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli and Christina Mauser died in the same crash that killed Kobe and Gianna, TMZ Sports reported.
Vanessa has also filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company.