Heartbreaking. Following the death of basketball Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, Jay-Z revealed the last words he exchanged with the fallen athlete. “Kobe was a guy that looked up to me and we’ve hung out multiple times,” the rapper, 50, explained, while speaking at Columbia University. “He was last at my house on New Year’s and he was just in the greatest space that I’ve seen him in. One of the last things he said to me was, ‘You’ve got to see Gianna play basketball.’ And that was one of the most hurtful things, because he was so proud.”

He continued, “The look on his face was like … I looked and him and said, ‘Oh, she’s going to be the best female basketball player in the world.’ He was just so proud of what he said. So that’s really a tough one and my wife and I took that – have taken that – really tough. That’s all I’ll say on that. Just a great human being and was in a great space in his life.”

Jay and Beyoncé were clearly close to the athlete. Hours after Bryant’s passing, the couple opted out of attending the 2020 Grammy awards. “They are both heartbroken over Kobe and Gianna’s passing,” a source told In Touch exclusively. “They are totally devastated.”

Bryant and Gianna were involved in a helicopter crashin Calabasas, California, and tragically died on Sunday, January 26, along with the seven other passengers on board. The two were on their way to Mamba Sports Academy to practice before the chopper went down.

Since the horrible accident, several celebrities have sent their condolences to his wife, Vanessa Bryant, and their other daughters — Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months. Beyoncé, 38, posted a moving tribute to the father and daughter shortly after the incident. “I will continue to diligently pray for your Queens,” she captioned a photo of the duo on Instagram. “You are deeply missed beloved, Kobe.”

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