Vanessa Bryant Honors Late Daughter Gianna's 18th Birthday by Hosting a Basketball Camp: 'Play Gigi's Way'

Vanessa Bryant honored her and Kobe Bryant's late daughter, Gianna "Gigi" Bryant's, milestone 18th birthday in a special way!

On Saturday, Vanessa hosted a special basketball camp through the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation -- which honors Gigi and Kobe's mission and legacy to create opportunities in sports for boys and girls in underserved communities.

Vanessa shared a series of videos from the camp -- held at the Lakers training facility -- that hosted 100 boys and girls, who wore uniforms with Gianna's basketball number (2) while running drills and having the chance to meet Vanessa and her daughters, Natalia, Bianka and Capri.

Vanessa Bryant and Gianna Bryant

Vanessa Bryant celebrated late daughter Gianna's 18th birthday with a special basketball camp.

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"In honor of Gianna's 18th birthday, we hosted a special @MambaMambacitaSports Skills Academy basketball camp with @nikela, @lakers, and @uscwbb to share my daughter's PLAY GIGI'S WAY™ spirit for boys and girls from local LA community organizations," she captioned an Instagram video shared Saturday. "We loved seeing their passion for basketball by embracing joy, curiosity, and competitiveness, while never taking any opportunity for granted, just like Gigi. #PlayGigisWay❤️ #HappyBirthdayGigi #18 5-1-06."

In another video montage of the event, the mother of four wrote, "Today, we brought together over 100 boys and girls from @bgcofwhittier, @wsgvbgc, @bgclaharbor to join us at the @lakers facility for a memorable @MambaMambacitaSports Skills Academy Basketball Camp to honor my Gigi's 18th birthday."

She added: "We are grateful to our dedicated partners @nikeLA, @uscwbb, and all the coaches who made the day extra special 🦋 #GiannaBryant #MAMBACITA #PlayGigisWay❤️#2 🖤🤍."

In the clip, Vanessa also shared a special message for the young athletes.

"We're here to celebrate Gigi's 18th birthday so I am so happy to see you all here to play with joy and curiosity like she always did," she said.

Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant at a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Atlanta Hawks

Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna died on Jan. 26, 2020

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Attendees were gifted basketballs and the latest sneaker from Gianna's collection with Nike, the Kobe 8 Mambacita.

 The official Mamba and Mambacita organization shared a video from the day with the young athletes as well.

Gianna's 18 birthday would have been on May 1. Vanessa took to Instagram to share an emotional post to her daughter and highlight the milestones she would have marked this year.

"Happy birthday to my gorgeous girl, Gigi! I love you. I miss you. I'm so proud of you. 2024 was your year. You would've been graduating high school and choosing which college to go to. ( I would've been trying my hardest to convince you to stay close to home)," she wrote. "I'm proud of the change in sports you and daddy worked so hard on. You continue to motivate me and inspire young women and girls daily. I love you always, mommy. ❤️ #PlayGigisWay #Mambacita Forever. #18. ❤️♉️."

Gianna was 13 years old when she died alongside her father, Kobe, six other passengers and the pilot in a Jan. 26, 2020 helicopter crash.

Since the death of her husband and daughter, Vanessa has continued to keep their legacy alive through the non-profit organization. In February, Vanessa and her three daughters attended the unveiling of Kobe's statue at area, marking her first return to the venue since his and Gianna's memorial service.

"It goes without saying that today is an especially sad day for us... I want to thank you all for being here for showing your love for Kobe and our family," Vanessa said at the end of the ceremony. "This moment isn't just for Kobe, it's for all of you, who have been rooting for him all these years."

lakers jeanie buss kobe bryant gianna bryant family

Vanessa Bryant founded the Mamba and Mambacita Foundation to keep her husband and daughter's legacies alive.

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In February, ET spoke with Vanessa's best friend, Kelly Rowland, who praised her strength and resilience.

"Vanessa is one of the strongest women I know," Rowland told ET, adding that the event was "a beautiful space [and] a beautiful time."

"To hear from so many people that love him, I was just blessed to be a part of the space for sure. He continues to inspire me; just talking about Kobe and [the] Mamba mentality, and being able to give back to so many generations to come," she added. "I feel like his legacy."


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