Vanessa Bryant honors daughter Gianna by renaming charity ‘Mamba & Mambacita’ after her and Kobe
KOBE Bryant’s heartbroken widow said today that she is renaming her husband’s foundation to honor daughter Gianna, who was also killed in last month’s helicopter crash.
Vanessa Bryant announced on Instagram that The Mamba Sports Foundation will now be called the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation.
Kobe Bryant had adopted the “Black Mamba” nickname during his storied basketball career.
Gianna, who was 13, became known as “Mambacita” after developing her own hoops prowess.
Vanessa Bryant made the announcement nearly three weeks after the NBA legend and Gianna were killed in the Jan. 26 helicopter crash.
The change honoring the couple’s teen daughter has already been reflected on the organization’s website.
“Because there is no #24 without #2, we have updated the Mamba Sports Foundation to now be called the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation,” Vanessa wrote.
“Our mission remains the same – and stronger than ever – to provide opportunities to young people through sports.
“Thank you all for the outpouring of support and your kind donations to date as we carry forth Kobe and Gigi’s legacy.”
Vanessa Bryant added that “we hope to empower young athletes in a world they left us all to help shape.”
Bryant’s social media announcement made this afternoon already has more than 800,000 likes.
The foundation says on its website that it is “focused on creating a positive impact through Sports.”
“The Foundation aims to develop learning skills, enhancing character traits, and expanding personal values that ultimately empower and inspire self-confidence.”
It exists to “further Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s legacy through charitable endeavors in sports.”
Kobe and Gianna Bryant were two of nine people killed in the helicopter crash in California.
Gianna Bryant, who was coached by her father, often attended NBA games with him.
The passengers on the helicopter were on their way to a youth basketball tournament when the crash took place.
They will be honored at a public memorial at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 24.
The date corresponds with the No. 24 jersey that Bryant wore with the Lakers and the No. 2 worn by Gianna.
Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton were killed in the crash along with three members of the Altobelli family and pilot Ara Zobayan.
Mauser helped Bryant coach the girls’ basketball team, which also included Payton Chester and Alyssa Altobelli.
A National Transportation Safety Board report issued last week said there were not any signs of engine failure from the wreckage found in the crash site of Calabasas.
The death certificates stated that Kobe Bryant and his daughter died in a “rapid” manner from blunt force trauma.
Three of the victims – baseball coach John Altobelli, wife Keri and daughter Alyssa – were honored at a public memorial on Monday.
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