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Vanessa Bryant Honors Late Daughter Gianna on What Would Have Been Her 8th Grade Graduation Day

Vanessa Bryant honored her late daughter Gianna Bryant on Friday, June 5, which would have been her middle school graduation day.

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“Congratulations on your 8th grade graduation Gigi. I love you forever and always,” Vanessa, 38, posted on Instagram. “I’m so proud of you. ❤️, Mommy #classof2020.” The post included a photo of her diploma surrounded by white flowers.


Vanessa Bryant Honors Late Daughter Gianna on 8th Grade Graduation Day
Vanessa Bryant attends the 2018 Baby2Baby Gala Presented by Paul Mitchell at 3LABS on November 10, 2018 in Culver City, California. Shutterstock

Gianna was on the basketball team at Harbor Day School and was a member of the student council. (She also played on the Mamba Sports Academy team.) In February, the school held a ceremony to retire her jersey.

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A student council faculty member spoke about Gianna alongside her peers at the gathering. “In the 7th grade when she said she’d run for student council I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to hear and see what she would do to help elevate our student population. We gave her one assignment and she ran with it as quickly and as eagerly as anyone I’ve ever seen,” one faculty member said at the time. “Gianna was an amazing leader in our student council. We will always remember her will to make things better and to strive for excellence.”

Vanessa shared photos from the ceremony at the time. “Jersey Retirement,” she captioned one Instagram post.

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Gianna and her father, Kobe Bryant, in addition to seven of their friends, died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, in January. Kobe was 41.

Vanessa and the late NBA star are also parents of daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 11 months. Last month, Vanessa paid tribute to Gianna on her 14th birthday. “Mommy loves you more than I can ever show you. You are part of MY SOUL forever,” she wrote.

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