Vanessa Bryant Announces Name Change to Mamba Sports Foundation Inspired by Kobe and Gianna
"Our mission remains the same – and stronger than ever," Vanessa Bryant said
Vanessa Bryant announced the change in an Instagram post on Thursday that also revealed an updated logo for the organization.
“Because there is no #24 without #2,” Vanessa wrote, referencing Kobe and Gianna’s basketball jersey numbers, “we have updated the Mamba Sports Foundation to now be called the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation.”
“Our mission remains the same – and stronger than ever – to provide opportunities to young people through sports,” the mother of four added.
The foundation, founded by the five-time NBA champion who spent 20 years with the Los Angeles Lakers, aims to provide underserved communities with sports programs that enrich their “socio-emotional and physical development,” according to its website.
The foundation also provides funding for athletes to join school or league teams, as well as sports programs that offer equal opportunities for young women.
Vanessa also expressed her gratitude for donations that have been made in the weeks since Kobe and Gianna were killed in a Jan. 26 helicopter crash with seven others.
“Thank you all for the outpouring of support and your kind donations to date as we carry forth Kobe and Gigi’s legacy,” Vanessa wrote. “We hope to empower young athletes in a world they left us all to help shape.”
The Instagram page for the foundation also debuted the change.
“In commemoration of Gianna ‘Gigi’ Bryant, Mamba Sports Foundation will now be known as the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation,” the post reads. “The Foundation exists to further Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s legacy in youth sports and beyond.”
The announcement comes ahead of a scheduled public memorial service for all victims of the crash on Feb. 24 at the Staples Center in L.A.
The event will also honor victims John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Christina Mauser, and pilot Ara Zobayan. No other details surrounding the event have been announced.
Kobe and Gianna are survived by Vanessa, 37, as well as the couple’s other children Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and 7-month-old Capri.