Vanessa Bryant is making sure her daughters have a chance to celebrate their father. On March 13, Los Angeles’s TCL Chinese Theatre honored the late basketball icon by permanently embedding his footprints and handprints in the historic theatre’s courtyard and marked the moment with a ceremony attended by the star’s family.
Kobe became the first athlete to imprint his hand and footprints in front of the TCL Chinese Theatre in 2011. But while most of the celebrity hand and footprints on display in the courtyard are switched out from time to time, Kobe’s will be a permanent addition.
Vanessa brought her daughters – 20-year-old Natalia, 6-year-old Bianka, and 3-year-old Capri – to the ceremony, which was also attended by Lakers President Jeanie Buss and former coach Byron Scott. Prior to the unveiling, Natalia honored her father in a moving speech shared by Extra on YouTube. “When most people knew him as a basketball player or a storyteller, I got to love him as my dad, and let me tell you, he is the MVP of girl dads, to say the least,” she said. “Being a dad of four girls is definitely not easy, but despite the NBA and Lakers schedules, he always made sure to support me and my sisters . . . Being his daughter is one of the greatest joys of my life, and I hope to continue to embody and cherish the many lessons he has taught me.”
She also shared that her dad’s passion for movies inspired her to pursue film in college. “I remember sitting beside him on late nights, whether I would be working on a school project, getting a midnight snack, or unable to sleep. He would always be awake, writing, storyboarding, editing,” she continued. “As I’ve gotten older, I continue to see the impact that he had on those around him, and the inspiration he has brought to so many. Dad, you’re an icon, a legend, a storyteller, and most importantly, the best girl dad any young woman could ever dream of . . . We are extremely proud of you. We will love you forever and always.”
Kobe, whose short film “Dear Basketball” won an Oscar for best animated short film in 2018, tragically died at the age of 41 in a helicopter crash in January 2020. His 13-year-old daughter Gianna also died in the crash.
Ahead, check out photos of Vanessa, Natalia, Bianka, and Capri at the ceremony honoring their late husband and dad.