Kobe Bryant’s daughter Natalia pays tribute to the ‘MVP of Girl Dads’ during handprint ceremony

Natalia Bryant paid a heartfelt tribute to her late father, Kobe Bryant, during a ceremony honoring the basketball legend.

On March 15, the 20-year-old student was joined by her mother, Vanessa Bryant, and her sisters, Bianka, six, and Capri, three, outside the TCL Chinese Theater in Los Angeles, California, where they were helping out reveal a display Honoring the Lakers player.

Kobe Bryant’s hand and footprints, previously printed in cement more than 10 years ago, will now be permanently placed in the theater’s public forecourt. Unveiling the tribute — which included the original February 2011 date he took the casts as well as his “24” jersey number — Bryant’s daughters Bianka and Capri placed their own hands and feet on their father’s casts.

The family were also joined by Lakers President Jeanie Buss and former NBA head coach Byron Scott, while eldest daughter Natalia spoke at the ceremony. “I’m honored to be here today to honor the man we all knew and love, my father, Kobe Bryant,” the sophomore began her speech at the University of Southern California.

“While most people knew him as a basketball player or a storyteller, I came to know and love him as my father,” Natalia said. “And let me tell you, he’s the MVP of girl dads, to say the least.”

“Being a father to four girls is definitely not easy, but despite the NBA and Lakers schedules, he has always made sure to support me and my sisters Gianna, Bianka and Capri – at our concerts, games, tournaments and every monumental one moment,” she continued. “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.

Natalia went on to explain how she watches movies with her dad – such as Star Wars, Harry Potter, the Goonies, and everything from the Marvel film universe – inspired her to get a college degree in film. “Each of these memories I will never forget,” she said. “He’s the reason I’m studying film in college. And he’s why the film inspired me to create memories like ours so other people can bring even more fathers and daughters like us together.”

Vanessa Bryant and her daughters Natalia, Bianka and Capri attend the ceremony where Kobe Bryant’s hand and footprints will be permanently placed on the forecourt of the TCL Chinese Theater

(Getty Images)

She added, “It is truly amazing to stand here in front of the Chinese Theater in Hollywood and forever display my father’s hands and footprints. As you visit us in the years to come, I encourage you to put your hands in his and take a moment to stand in his shoes.”

On January 26, 2020, Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna tragically died along with seven other victims in a helicopter crash just outside of Los Angeles. Earlier this month, Vanessa Bryant won a $28.5 million settlement in her lawsuit with Los Angeles County over photos of the 2020 helicopter crash, in which county police and fire officials allegedly showed photos of the crash site containing the bodies of contained the victims.

Natalia Bryant has often shared fond memories of her late father on social media, posting throwback photos of the basketball star on special occasions like Father’s Day or his birthday. In a 2021 interview with Teen VogueNatalia spoke candidly about why she loves keeping memories of her father and sister alive, especially for her little sisters.

“I like to talk about my father. It’s bittersweet, but I enjoy talking about him more than it saddens me,” Bryant said, adding elsewhere in the interview that the basketball legend was “just like the best girl dad ever.”

Bryant added that her dedication to honoring her memories stems from a desire to support her family: “You’re doing your best. [For] my little sisters, [we’re] try to keep that memory for them. And just try to remind yourself to live each day the way you would.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/natalia-bryant-kobe-dad-speech-b2302312.html Kobe Bryant’s daughter Natalia pays tribute to the ‘MVP of Girl Dads’ during handprint ceremony


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