Natalia Bryant found a touching way to celebrate her late father, Kobe Bryant, ahead of his Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
The former NBA legend will be honored today at the 2020 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony, where he will be posthumously inducted after the ceremony was postponed from last year due to the pandemic.
As part of the 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony, the NBA star's oldest daughter Natalia appeared alongside her mom, Vanessa Bryant, at the Tip-Off Celebration on Friday to receive a jacket and ring for Kobe.
In a powerful moment, the 18-year-old honored her father’s legacy by wearing the emblazoned jacket and ring herself, while other inductees sported their jackets and rings themselves. Her mother stood proudly beside her, keeping one hand on the award as they celebrated the event together.
The posthumous award comes almost a year and a half after Kobe and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, died in a tragic helicopter crash that also claimed the lives of seven other victims.
Vanessa Bryant, who would have celebrated 20 years of marriage with her husband last month, shared a series of Instagram posts on Friday from inside the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame located in Springfield, Mass., including shots from her late husband’s own exhibit that she helped designed.
In one photo, she closed her eyes as she posed alongside a close-up photo of Bryant’s face, their noses appearing to touch.
“Love you always. ❤️@kobebryant📸,” she captioned the shot, which was taken by her oldest daughter.
The weekend became a family affair as they celebrated Kobe's legacy, with Vanessa bringing along her three daughters, Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. The 39-year-old snapped some photos of her youngest daughters in their father’s exhibit, smiling wide as they posed alongside his memorabilia and photos of him.
In one photo, Vanessa snapped a shot of her 4-year-old daughter, Bianka, leaning against the wall as she smiled in front of her father’s exhibit.
“Bianka at Daddy’s Hall Of Fame exhibit. ❤️,” the caption read.
Vanessa captured a photo of her 1-year-old daughter, Capri, standing in front of an enlarged photo of her dad, captioning the touching photo, “Capri at Daddy’s Hall of Fame exhibit. ❤️.”
In an emotional post, she shared a clip holding her daughter’s hand as they sat on the floor of the exhibit, watching an animated clip of her husband as he walks off the court donning his Lakers jersey.
“Dear Kobe, I love you. ❤️ #HallofFame #dearbasketball❤️,” she wrote in the caption.
In March, Bryant opened up to People about pushing through the “unimaginable pain” over a year after the tragic death of her husband and daughter.
"This pain is unimaginable," she said. "You just have to get up and push forward. Lying in bed crying isn’t going to change the fact that my family will never be the same again…But getting out of bed and pushing forward is going to make the day better for my girls and for me. So that’s what I do."
At the end of the day, there are three people who help Bryant get through her days: Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.
"My girls help me smile through the pain," she said. "They give me strength."