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Vanessa Bryant celebrates daughter Gigi on what would have been her 17th birthday

Gigi Bryant and her dad, Kobe Bryant, died three years ago in a helicopter crash.
/ Source: TODAY

Vanessa Bryant is celebrating her late daughter, Gianna "Gigi" Bryant, on what would have been her 17th birthday.In a series of Instagram posts shared May 1, the mom of four shared throwback photos of a teenage Gigi, whom she shares with late husband, NBA legend Kobe Bryant.

"Happy 17th birthday, baby girl. I love you and miss you so much, sweet Angel," Vanessa Bryant captioned the first post, which shows a smiling Gigi riding a carousel horse.

Vanessa Bryant and Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant attend a basketball game between the Indiana Pacers and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on November 29, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.
Vanessa Bryant and Gianna "Gigi" Bryant attend a basketball game in 2015.Noel Vasquez / GC Images

A second post, featuring Gigi posing with sisters Natalia and Bianka, now 20 and 6 respectively, was captioned, "Happy birthday, sweet Gigi! We love you to the moon and back infinity +1. Forever & Always."

In a third post, Gigi, Natalia and Bianka pose alongside their mom.

"Te Amo Mambacita ❤️ Happy birthday, baby girl," Bryant, who is also mom to daughter, Capri, 3, captioned the photo.

All three social posts racked up thousands of likes, and several happy birthday comments, including wishes from Khloe Kardashian, the Los Angeles Lakers, Ciara and Allison Holker.

Gigi, 13, and Kobe Bryant, 41, were killed in a helicopter crash in January 2020 outside Los Angeles. The father-daughter duo were traveling to a basketball practice at Bryant’s Mamba Academy.

Since their deaths, Bryant and her family have worked to honor the former Los Angeles Lakers star and young basketball player.

Just a few days before Gigi’s birthday, Bryant shared a photo on Instagram of Nike sneakers in a custom "MAMBACITA" box, featuring a photo of angel wings. Her nickname was a take on her dad's famous moniker, Black Mamba.

"Celebrating my Gigi," she captioned the snap.

Earlier this year, the family was in attendance to reveal the late NBA superstar’s permanent prints at Hollywood’s famous TCL Chinese Theatre. In a speech honoring her dad, oldest daughter, Natalia, recalled fond memories she shared with him, including watching movies like "Star Wars" and "The Goonies."

“As you visit here for years to come, I encourage you to place your hands in his and take a moment to stand in his shoes,” she said to visitors of the landmark.