Kobe and Gigi Bryant Memorial


Wikimedia Commons

Many mourning the death of Kobe Bryant left candles and gifts. His memorial was held Jan. 26.

Camila Lazaro

Thousands gathered in the Staples Center, ready to celebrate, sing, and mourn the nine lives taken away Jan. 26 in Calabasas, Calif. during a helicopter crash. Many attendees could be seen with tears coming down their cheeks during the speeches. 

Los Angeles Lakers’ shooting guard Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gigi, were on their way to Gigi’s basketball game with six other passengers and the helicopter pilot when tragedy struck.

On Feb. 24, many fans came to pay their respects at the Staples Centers in Los Angeles, where Bryant played for 20 seasons with the Lakers, according to NBC News. The date of the memorial represented the number on the jersey Bryant finished his NBA career with, and the number 2 represented Gigi Bryant’s number when played for the Mamba Sports Foundation, stated Yahoo and Fox Sports. The number 20 represents the years Kobe played for the NBA, along with the years Kobe and his wife, Vanessa Bryant spent together, according to Vanessa in her Instagram post.

To support the families affected by the tragedy, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up a fund called the MambaOnThree. To donate go to MambaOnThree.org. The Mamba Sports Foundations named has been changed to Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation “Because there is no #24 without #2” said Vanessa in her Instagram post.

“We love and miss you, Boo-Boo and Gigi,” said Vanessa Bryant during the memorial at Staples Center. “May you both rest in peace and have fun in heaven until we meet again one day.”

During the memorial Vanessa Bryant described the thoughtfulness and kindness of Gigi and Kobe Bryant. She stated, “Gigi was very sweet. She always made sure everybody was okay and she was our shepherd. She always kept our family together.”

She talked about how thoughtful Kobe was, “He even handmade my most treasured gifts. He just thought outside the box and was so thoughtful, even while working hard to be the best athlete.”

Many celebrities came to celebrate the lives that were lost in the crash. Jimmy Kimmel fought back his tears when giving his speech about the nine people who died in the crash. Michael Jordan teared up in his speech while joking about his crying meme, and Shaquille O’Neal got the crowd laughing when he told the story of the players complaining that Kobe wasn’t passing the ball. Beyonce sang one of Kobe’s favorite songs “XO,” according to Business Inside. Diana Taurasi, a Phoenix Mercury player talked about Bryant inspiring her. “Kobe’s willingness to do the hard work and make the sacrifice every single day inspired me and resonated with the city of Los Angeles,” she said. Taurasi also talked about Gigi’s curiosity. “But it was her curiosity about the game that was pushing her to pick up the basketball every single day.”

Many singers came up to the stage and sang, Alicia Keys performed “Moonlight Sonata”, Christina Aguilar was the last performer, and she sang “Ave Maria.” Celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Dwayne Wade, and thousands of fans joined Vanessa to the memorial.