"It's been a joy to watch her grow and to be there every day for that process," Kobe Bryant said of his daughter in the clip

By Gabrielle Chung
March 27, 2020 12:12 AM
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Credit: Christopher Polk/Getty; Mark Blinch/The Canadian Press via AP

Vanessa Bryant is paying tribute to her late husband, Kobe Bryant, and 13-year-old daughter Gianna by remembering their shared love of basketball.

In a Instagram post on Thursday, Vanessa, 37, shared a sweet video of Kobe talking about coaching Gianna — who was nicknamed “Gigi” — and the happiness it brought him in sharing his passion for the sport with her.

“She started out playing soccer, which is one of my favorite sports as well,” the former NBA star says in the clip. “But then, when she asked about learning the game of basketball, I started teaching her piece by piece, and she started enjoying it and loving it and now she plays every day.”

“It’s been a joy to watch her grow and to be there every day for that process,” Kobe continues. “Her temperament is a lot like mine. She’s extremely competitive, very fiery, and backs down from no challenge.”

In the clip, the Los Angeles Lakers legend adds that Gianna is “a good mix of me and good mix of her mama, so that makes her even more competitive than I am.”

The tribute comes two months after Kobe and Gianna — along with pilot Ara Zobayan, Sarah and Payton Chester, Christina Mauser, John Altobelli, his wife Keri Altobelli and their daughter, Alyssa Altobelli — passed away in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. At the time, Kobe was 41.

Almost two hour after sharing the video, Vanessa posted a photo of her with daughter Natalia, 15, posing with a group. In the shot, the mother-daughter duo can be seen showing off the logos on their sweatshirts.

Vanessa is also mom to daughters Bianka, 3, and 9-month-old Capri.

A source recently told PEOPLE that Vanessa “is so grateful to have her kids and family around” since Kobe and Gianna’s tragic deaths.

As California is on lockdown in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus, the source said the Bryant family is continuing to “stay at home like everyone else.”

Earlier this month, Vanessa shared a photo of Natalia dressed up for her high school dance. Ahead of the formal, Natalia posed for photos in front of a tribute mural painted to honor Kobe and Gianna.

“❤️ my babies. Natalia. #winterformal,” the mom captioned one picture, which featured a smiling Natalia dressed in a blue and white polka dot frock.

In another photo with the family, Vanessa caption the post with lyrics from “Smile” by Nat King Cole.

At Kobe and Gianna’s memorial on Feb. 24, Vanessa shared touching stories of Gianna, who was a budding basketball player with dreams of making it to the WNBA. She noted that the young athlete “was very competitive like her daddy,” but that “Kobe always said she was me — she had my fire, my personality and sarcasm, but she was tender and loving on the inside.”

Vanessa also called her “soulmate” Kobe “the MVP of girl dads, or MVD,” and spoke about the valuable lessons he left for her and their three surviving daughters.

“God knew they couldn’t be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to have them together,” Vanessa said, before telling her late husband, “Babe, you take care of our Gigi. And I got Nani, B.B. and Koko. We’re still the best team. May you both rest in peace and have fun in Heaven until we meet again one day. We love you both and miss you. Forever and always, Mommy.”