Vanessa Bryant's Tribute To Gigi's 18th Birthday Will Leave You Absolutely Gutted

Vanessa Bryant shared a tear-jerking birthday post in honor of her late daughter, Gianna "Gigi" Bryant. In January 2020, Gigi and Kobe Bryant tragically lost their lives in a devastating helicopter crash, sending shockwaves not just through the sports world, but around the globe.

At the time of the incident, Gigi was just shy of turning 14. Four years later, Vanessa posted a carousel of photos and videos of her daughter to the tune of "My Girl" by the Temptations on what would have been her 18th birthday. The images were enough to get people to run and grab some tissues, but the caption was even more heartbreaking. Vanessa wrote, "Happy birthday to my gorgeous girl, Gigi! I love you. I miss you. I'm so proud of you." The former model then went into what Gigi could have expected from the year. She said, "2024 was your year. You would've been graduating high school and choosing which college to go to. ( I would've been trying my hardest to convince you to stay close to home)."

Vanessa ended her message to Gigi, sharing, "I'm proud of the change in sports you and daddy worked so hard on. You continue to motivate me and inspire young women and girls daily. I love you always, mommy. #PlayGigisWay #Mambacita Forever. #18." Vanessa's post was just the start of the many birthday tributes that came Gigi's way.

Celebrities honor Gigi Bryant on her 18th birthday

Vanessa Bryant kickstarted the birthday tributes for her daughter, Gianna "Gigi" Bryant, with her heartbreaking post on Instagram. Once Vanessa honored Gigi, the birthday wishes for the young basketball star didn't stop.

Under Vanessa's post was a flood of comments from celebrities honoring what would have been Gigi's 18th birthday. Momager Kris Jenner wrote, "Happy Birthday to your beautiful Angel light Gigi sending so much love." People from all parts of the entertainment industry made sure to wish Gigi a happy birthday. "The Help" actor Viola Davis wrote, "Beautiful!! Happy birthday Gigi." Comedian George Lopez also gave a special shoutout to Gigi. He wrote, "Happy Birthday GiGi. #MambacitaForever." These are just a couple of the many posts shared by famous celebs, as the birthday tributes were abundant.

Some of those closest to Gigi also shared their own posts for the special day. Natalia Bryant, who has been carving her own path, always takes time to honor her sister. The eldest of the Bryant kids shared several photos of her and Gigi on her Instagram story and captioned a photo booth-style picture of the two with a sweet tribute. She followed it up with several pictures of her and Gigi on her Instagram story, but the touching tributes for her didn't stop there.

Vanessa Bryant and Nike launch Gigi-inspired sneakers

Vanessa Bryant's post about her late daughter, Gianna "Gigi" Bryant, wasn't the only way she honored the young basketball player. The philanthropist collaborated with Nike to create a Gigi-inspired sneaker that launched on her birthday.

Vanessa had shared photos of the sneaker a couple of days before the release. She wrote in the image caption, "MAMBACITA 5/1/2006 GIGI." The low-top shoe had a white-based with black butterflies all over, a symbol that Vanessa has tied to Gigi. In addition, the Nike logo on the shoe had a bright gold color, and on the tongue of the sneaker was the Mamba and Mambacita symbol. Everywhere you look at the shoe, there is a nod to Gigi. The heels of each sneaker had a different tribute to Gigi; one had her name, and the other had the number she used when she played on the court.

Hours before the release, Vanessa shared another promotion for the shoe and wrote details about the inspiration in her caption. She shared, "Gigi changed the game. Forever. On 5.1 we celebrate Gianna 'Gigi' Bryant's 18th birthday and the transformational impact she had on highlighting women's sports with the release of the Kobe 8 Protro 'Mambacita.'" In the caption, Vanessa also revealed that the profits from the shoe would go to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, which she created following the death of Gigi and Kobe Bryant.