The late Kobe Bryant welcomed four daughters with wife Vanessa Bryant before his tragic death in 2020
Kobe and his wife, Vanessa Bryant, became parents for the first time when Natalia was born in January 2003, and their brood of girls continued to grow from there. “Guys keep teasing me,” the Lakers star once told Extra. “My friends say, ‘It takes a real man to make a boy.' I’m like, ‘Dude, it takes a king to make a princess.’ "
The baller doted on his “little princesses” and taught them the value of hard work. “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey,” explained Kobe at his retirement ceremony in 2017. “And if you guys can understand that, then what you’ll see is you won’t accomplish your dreams. Your dreams won’t come true. Something greater will, and if you guys can understand that, then I’m doing my job as a father.”
The Bryant family changed forever when Kobe and his second daughter, Gianna, died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, 2020, in Calabasas, California. In the years since their tragic deaths, Vanessa has credited her daughters Natalia, Bianka and Capri as being her “light in the darkness.” She told PEOPLE in 2021, "My girls help me smile through the pain. They give me strength."
"Helping my girls navigate through this heartache is important to me," she added. “Making sure that they know that they are loved, supported and important is what motivates me."
And the memory of their father helps motivate the girls, too. "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 shared at Kobe’s 2023 handprint ceremony.
"Kobe did a good job [raising his daughters],” friend and teammate Byron Scott told PEOPLE of Kobe's legacy as a caring dad. "He loved his girls. I've never seen a father display the love that he displayed for his girls as much as I saw Kobe.”
In February 2024, Vanessa and her daughters attended the unveiling of Kobe's bronze statue outside of the Los Angeles Lakers' Crypto.com Arena. "It goes without saying that today is an especially sad day for us since Kobe and Gigi aren't here for what is supposed to be an incredibly joyous moment," the mom of four said during her speech.
Read on for everything to know about Kobe and Vanessa Bryant’s daughters.
Natalia Diamante Bryant, 21
Kobe and Vanessa became parents for the first time when they welcomed daughter Natalia into the world on Jan. 19, 2003. Ever since she was a baby, Natalia was a fixture at her father’s games, either sitting with her mom on the sidelines or babbling on Kobe’s lap during post-game interviews.
Natalia followed her mom’s footsteps into the fashion industry and announced her partnership with IMG models in 2021 when she turned 18. "Ever since I can remember, I wanted to model" Natalia said in a statement shared on IMG's Instagram account at the time. "There is a lot to learn, but I feel this is a great opportunity for me to learn and express myself creatively."
Her mom shared a touching message following the announcement. "Daddy would be so happy that you're pursuing your modeling career now that you're 18," Vanessa captioned a photo. "You're beautiful inside and out. We love you."
Natalia made her runway debut in September 2023 at the Versace show during Milan Fashion Week, and she told Vogue the experience was “so special.” Earlier that year, she worked for another celebrity: Beyoncé! The driven star was revealed to be an intern for the Renaissance World Tour.
When she’s not working, Natalia is a regular college student at the University of Southern California, where she enrolled in 2021. While drop-off day was “rough” for mom Vanessa, she couldn’t have been more proud of her daughter. "Your hard work and dedication was so worth it. You pushed through the most excruciating pain imaginable and you succeeded," Vanessa captioned an Instagram post in March 2021.
Though it’s been hard, Natalia has said talking about her father and his famous “Mamba Mentality" brings her joy. "I love talking about my dad,” she told Teen Vogue in 2021. “It's bittersweet, but I enjoy talking about him more than it's sad for me."
And when things get tough, she can always rely on her support system at home. “I spend time with the people I love, like my family," she told Elle in October 2023. "I hang out with my friends, or listen to my favorite music. I do things that bring me peace and that put me in a much better headspace. I think it’s important to focus on the positive aspects life has to offer.”
Most recently, Natalia appeared on the February 2024 cover of Town & Country, where she opened up about her life as a film student and her budding modeling career. "I think it’s fun to have my foot in both worlds,” she told the outlet. “They’re both collaborative, and you meet so many different people."
She also shared that she is focused on being "the best version of me that I possibly can" and "understanding that there’s no expectation that I should have for each stage of life." Natalia explained, "I just need to know that I have to keep learning, because there’s no finish line. You just have to keep pushing and being the best person you can be and soaking everything up like a sponge… The job’s never done."
Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant
Kobe and Vanessa’s second daughter, Gianna, was born on May 1, 2006, three years after her big sister. From a young age, Gianna — who was lovingly known as Gigi — wanted to follow her dad’s footsteps into basketball. Kobe even coached his daughter’s team at his Mamba Sports Academy and supported her dreams of joining the WNBA.
"[Gianna]'s pretty fierce. She loves playing, she loves shooting,” he told Extra in July 2017. “She came to me last summer and asked if I would teach her the game a little bit, so she really just started playing, but she picked up things innately."
Even after he retired, he loved sharing the sport with his mini-me, and the duo even watched his first post-retirement Lakers game together. "We just had so much fun because it was the first time I was seeing the game through her eyes,” he recalled on the Showtime Basketball podcast All the Smoke in 2020. “It wasn't me sitting there, you know, as an athlete or a player or something like that, and you know it's like about me, and I don't like that. It was her, she was having such a good time."
The duo shared more than just a love for basketball — they also had similar personalities. Even when Gigi was 3, Kobe saw himself in her big personality while playing Candy Land together. “I just play the game, I win — and the kid goes ape s---,” he told The New Yorker in 2014. “She knocked the board over. 'Baaaaaaa!' I was, like, 'S---, the kid's like me. Damn it.' "
Gianna was just 13 when she died in the helicopter crash alongside her father. The duo was on their way to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks when the pilot lost control amid thick fog. Seven other people died in the crash.
Kobe and Gianna were laid to rest together on Feb. 7, 2020, at Pacific View Memorial Park and Mortuary in Corona Del Mar, California. A touching public memorial service was held on Feb. 24, 2020, at Staples Center that was attended by famous friends like Beyoncé, Michael Jordan, Christina Aguilera, Shaquille O’Neal and more.
Vanessa has honored her daughter in many ways since her death, including attending a jersey retirement ceremony at her daughter’s school, relaunching Kobe's foundation as the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, and dedicating a basketball court in California's Wilson Park to her daughter and husband.
She’s also kept Gigi’s memory alive by celebrating milestones like her 8th grade graduation and birthdays on Instagram.
“When I thought about how best to celebrate Gianna's birthday with so many who loved her, I knew it had to be a combination of sharing her bright and fun personality with her sense of purpose and passion that would help make a difference in this world,” she added in another post. “Gianna was kind, energetic, a leader, and had so much MAMBACITA swag."
Bianka Bella Bryant, 7
Vanessa and Kobe welcomed their third child — daughter Bianka Bella — on Dec. 5, 2016. The pair waited 16 days to share the first photo of their bundle of joy, who appeared swaddled in a soft pink blanket.
“@vanessabryant and I are beyond excited to welcome our newest baby girl, Bianka!!” Kobe wrote in the caption of the post, where he also shared that she was born weighing 7 lbs., 5 oz. and measured 20 inches.
Bianka was only 4 years old when her father died, but his good friend and former teammate Pau Gasol stepped up to teach her the game her dad loved so much. In 2021, Vanessa shared Instagram photos and videos of her two youngest daughters playing basketball with the retired baller. “Uncle @paugasol” she captioned the post.
In August 2023, Bianka joined her mom and sister Natalia at Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour and got a special surprise: a hug from the super star! “We love you @taylorswift ❤️,” Vanessa captioned a photo of the touching moment.
Vanessa often sings Bianka's praises on social media, too. On Bianka's 7th birthday in 2023, Vanessa celebrated the occasion on Instagram, saying her daughter brings "so much light and joy into our lives."
Capri Kobe Bryant, 4
Kobe announced he and Vanessa were expecting another baby on New Year’s Day 2019 with a post that read, “New year, new baby Mamba on the way.”
“Vanessa and I are beyond excited to announce that we are expecting another #mambacita to go along with Natalia, Gianna and Bianka,” he wrote, adding the hashtags #blessed #bryantbunch #daddysprincesses and #love.
Their youngest was born six months later on June 20, 2019, and shared a name with her father: Capri Kobe. “We are beyond excited that our baby girl ‘Koko’ has arrived!! #bryantbunch #4princesses #blessed,” Bryant captioned an image that revealed his newborn’s name and birth date. He shared the first photo of Capri two weeks later, swaddled in pink like her older sister.
The older girls embraced their new little sister. “[They] help around the house tremendously,” he added. “Bianka absolutely loves her — the only challenge we have is she wants to kiss her too much."
While Kobe died before his daughter’s first birthday, Vanessa posted a sweet tribute to her husband on the milestone, sharing a photo of him cradling their daughter. "Happy 1st Birthday Capri! Mommy, Daddy, Nani, Gigi and BB love you SO much!!!" she wrote. "God Bless you sweet princess. ❤️ Capri Kobe Bryant a.k.a. 'Koko-Bean' named after her dearly missed daddy, Kobe Bean Bryant ❤️."
Capri reminds her mom a lot of Kobe. In one sweet photo, Vanessa even called youngest “daddy and Gigi’s twin.”
"It's the KOBE stare for me ~ Capri Kobe," she laughed.
Now 4 years old, Capri has continued to make memories with her mom and sisters. She celebrated her 4th birthday at Disney World and visited the Central Park Zoo with Vanessa and Bianka a few months later. She even joined the Bryant ladies at Beyoncé's Renaissance tour stop in Los Angeles in September 2023!
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