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Natalia Bryant, 18, opens up about bond with late father Kobe: 'Best girl dad ever'

The teen lost her father and sister in a 2020 helicopter crash.
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Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash in 2020.Louis Dollagaray / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Natalia Bryant is determined to keep late father Kobe Bryant's memory alive for her family.

The 18-year-old spoke fondly of the basketball legend in a new interview with Teen Vogue and gave an update on how she's doing since losing her father and her 13-year-old sister Gianna in a helicopter crash in January 2020.

“You do the best that you can,” she told the magazine. “(For) my little sisters (we’re) trying to keep that memory for them. And also just trying to remember to live out every day the way they would.”

It's been less than two years since Bryant lost her father and sister, so you wouldn't blame her if she didn't feel comfortable talking about them publicly just yet. But she told Teen Vogue the opposite is true.

“I love talking about my dad,” she said. “It's bittersweet, but I enjoy talking about him more than it's sad for me.”

While growing up with her father, Bryant got to see a different side of the athlete from what he portrayed on the basketball court. “He was just like the best girl dad ever," she said before recalling one time she went to see "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" with her father. She said the car ride home was one of those moments that will live in her memory forever.

"He was just letting me play my playlist and jam out to Taylor Swift the whole ride back and talk about 'Star Wars,' too. It was so much fun,” she quipped.

Bryant recently began her first year at the University of Southern California and is trying to live a normal life, all while starting a modeling career with IMG Models. Growing up in the public eye isn't always easy, but she credits her parents with helping her maintain a sense of normalcy.

“Growing up, my parents made it as normal as possible," she said. "Thank God they did. It’s not, 'Oh she’s Natalia Bryant, she’s Kobe Bryant’s daughter.' A lot of times they saw me as, 'She’s just Nani.'”