Kobe Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, is speaking out for the first time since her husband and 13-year-old daughter Gianna were killed in a helicopter crash last Sunday in Calabasas, California.
On Wednesday, Vanessa Bryant posted this message on Instagram:
“My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them,” Bryant writes. “There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever.”
Bryant asked her to “support the other families affected by this tragedy” by donating to MambaOnThree.org. She also directed them to visit MambaSportsFoundation.org to “further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports.”
Vanessa Bryant’s full statement reads as follows:
“My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.
We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately.
There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon.
I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever.
Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality.
To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org.
To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org.
Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me.”
It is unknown whether there will be a public memorial service held by the Los Angeles Lakers or when a remembrance ceremony may take place. Lakers Coach Frank Vogel says, “We want to represent what Kobe was about, more than anything. We’ve always wanted to make him proud, and that’s not going to be any different here,” Vogel said. “We understand the importance and the opportunity we have this year. This has just brought us closer together.”
The Lakers are set to play a home game against the Portland Trailblazers on Friday night, after postponing Tuesday night’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers.
In addition to wife/mother Vanessa, Kobe and Gianna Bryant are survived by daughters/sisters Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.