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A day after her daughter was posthumously drafted into the WNBA, Vanessa Bryant took time to remember her husband in a touching Instagram post on what would have been their 19th wedding anniversary.
Vanessa’s husband, NBA legend Kobe Bryant, was killed along with their daughter, Gianna, and seven others in a helicopter crash outside of Los Angeles in January.
“My king, my heart, my best friend,” Vanessa wrote. “Happy 19th wedding anniversary baby. I miss you so much. I wish you were here to hold me in your arms. I love you.”
Vanessa and Kobe met in 1999 during a music video shoot, according to NBC News, and had their first date at Disneyland. They got married in 2001.
She shared a second Instagram post on Saturday of an interview Kobe did with MTV in 2001 in which he was asked “What made [Vanessa] the one?”
“It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly makes a person the one for you, but you just know,” Kobe said. “I mean, love is a funny thing. I can’t explain it, and I don’t understand it. But all I know is, she caught my heart. And I just knew that she was the one.”
Gianna, along with two of her teammates who were also killed in the helicopter crash, were all selected as honorary draft picks in the WNBA draft on Friday night. Gigi had lofty basketball goals, and was well on her way to playing collegiately and professionally. At their memorial in February, Vanessa said she believed that “Gigi would have likely become the best player in the WNBA.”
“Thank you so much for honoring my Gigi and selecting her to be an honorary draft pick this year,” Vanessa said in a message during the draft. “It would have been a dream come true for her. 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.”
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