TMZ reports that Gianna (whom Bryant and his wife, Vanessa, called GiGi) was on board the helicopter that also killed Kobe on Sunday in Calabasas, California. He was 41.
According to the website, the two were on their way to the Mamba Academy near Thousand Oaks, California, for basketball practice when the crash occurred.
Gianna was following in her dad’s footsteps of becoming a basketball star in her own right. When ET spoke with Kobe in December 2018, he shared what it was like coaching his daughter’s middle school basketball team after retiring from professional basketball with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2016.
“It’s been fun!” he said at the time. “We’ve been working together for a year and a half and they’ve improved tremendously in that time. I’ve got a group of great parents, a group of really, really intelligent, hardworking girls, and — they’re all seventh graders, they’re all 12 years old — but they’ve been playing so well!”
“I play ’em up now,” he added. “They’ve been playing eighth and ninth grade, they’ve been winning tournaments. But the most important thing is they keep improving, keep getting better and they love doing it. They love being around each other.”
Kobe continued on, telling ET he was loving the extra daddy-daughter time with his middle child.
“Gianna’s pretty easy to coach,” he revealed. “We haven’t had any issues of dad-daughter sort of thing. She’s very competitive and she’s a hard worker, so there haven’t been any issues with that.”
Kobe is survived by his wife, Vanessa, and their three other children: Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.