Vanessa Bryant honours daughter Gianna as high school retires her jersey

Kobe and Vanessa Bryant

Vanessa Bryant wrote an emotional message to her late daughter Gianna on Instagram on Wednesday after her high school held a ceremony to officially retire her sports jersey.

The 13-year-old died alongside her basketball player father Kobe when the helicopter they were travelling in crashed in California last month.

Gianna was remembered by her school friends and basketball teammates at Harbor Day School on Wednesday in a touching memorial, during which they retired her number 2 sports top, which she had worn to play for the school's basketball team and the Mamba Sports Academy.

Alongside photos from the ceremony, Vanessa wrote: "My Gianna. God I miss you. I've been so lucky to have woken up to see your gorgeous face and amazing smile for 13 years. Wish it would've been until my last breath. Mommy loves you to the moon and back. Infinity plus 1. #2 #Mambacita #GigiBryant."

She also later shared a snap of Gianna's framed jersey, writing: "My Gigi. I love you! I miss you. You've taught us all that no act of kindness is ever too small. Mommy is still and will ALWAYS be so proud of you mamacita. #2."

As part of the ceremony, a group of the school's sixth and seventh graders gathered together to sing Maroon 5's tune Memories in tribute to Gianna, with a video of the emotional moment shared by the group's frontman Adam Levine on Twitter.

"It's important to cry. It's important to sing. It's important to love so hard and hold on so tightly for as long as we can. Now more than ever. #GIRLDAD," Levine, who is the father of two daughters, wrote, referencing Kobe's now-famous quote that he was proud to be a "girl dad", as the father of four daughters with Vanessa.


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