Following Kobe Bryant‘s tragic death, celebrities and fans started posting tributes about the former MVP after ESPN anchor Elle Duncan revealed a touching anecdote about the dad of four on television. Now, everyone is using the hashtag #girldad on social media — which has since gone viral — in honor of his four children.
The legendary basketball player was a loving husband to Vanessa Bryant and father to his four daughters — Natalia, 17, Gianna, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months. Despite not having any sons, the NBA star enjoyed his time with his girls.
“I met Kobe one time — backstage at an event for ESPN in New York, and I saw him, and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh. That is Kobe. I’ve got to get a picture,’” the 36-year-old reporter began on January 27. “I didn’t get [the picture] for a few minutes because when I approached him, he immediately commented on my rather large 8-month pregnant belly. ‘How are you? How close are you? What are you having?’ ‘A girl,’ I said. He high-fived me. ‘Girls are the best.’”
Elle continued to ask the Los Angeles Lakers player for advice on raising a little girl since he had three at the time. “’Just be grateful that you’ve been given that gift because girls are amazing,’” he said. “His third daughter, Bianka, was about a year and a half old at the time. I asked him if he wanted more children, and he said that his wife, Vanessa, really wanted to try again for a boy but was sort of jokingly concerned that it would be another girl. I was like, ‘Four girls, are you joking? What would you think? How would you feel?’ Without hesitation, he said, ‘I would have five more girls if I could. I am a girl dad.’”
On Sunday, January 26, Bryant, Gianna, Payton Chester, 13, Sarah Chester, 46, Alyssa Altobelli, 14, Keri Altobelli, 46, John Altobelli, 57, and pilot Ara Zobayan, 50, and Christina Mauser, 38, tragically died after their helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California.
“I suppose that the only small comfort for me is knowing that he died doing what he loved the most — being a dad. Being a girl dad,” Elle tearfully concluded. The athlete was spotted coaching Gianna and her friends at Mamba Sports Academy one day prior to his death. Additionally, in Vanessa’s statement on January 29, she used “#GirlDad” and “#DaddysGirls” at the end of her sentimental post.
Scroll through the gallery below to see all the photos of fathers with their precious daughters.
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