Gianna Bryant’s basketball coach said she was the ‘heart and soul’ of the school’s team
Gianna Bryant’s school has retired her number two basketball jersey in a special ceremony.
Gianna, who died in a helicopter crash alongside her father, Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, and seven other people on 26 January, was described as the “heart and soul” of Harbor Day School’s basketball team.
During the ceremony, which included emotional speeches from her teachers, fellow students and coaches, it was announced the framed number two jersey with Gianna’s name on the back would be displayed on the wall of the school gym to ‘inspire’ others.
Gianna Bryant’s jersey is being displayed on the wall in the school gym
Vanessa Bryant, Gianna’s mum, and Kobe’s wife, shared photos and videos of the event on Instagram, posting moments to followers throughout the night.
“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.”
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“She will be the last person to wear the number two for a Seahawks basketball team,” a member of staff at Harbor Day School said during the ceremony.
“We hope when you look at her jersey hanging in our gym, you will remember Gianna and be inspired to work hard and be passionate about whatever your interest is.
“I hope that seeing Gianna’s jersey will inspire you to keep alive Gianna’s unique ability to recognise when a friend is having a difficult day, and share a kind word with them, giving them a hug or a smile, and let them know that you care, just like Gianna would.
“We love you, Gianna, and you will always be in our hearts.”
Yunga Webb, a teacher at the school, said: “[Gianna] was one of the most humble people I’ve ever known, and that says a lot about her character.
“Her presence is greatly missed, she elevated the eighth-grade class. She makes us better. She made us better and she makes us better.
“She was strong, she was a leader.”
Webb added she helps keep Gianna’s memory alive by continuing to call her name on the register.
“We call her name. And when we call her name, I hear 40-plus kids say, ‘here,’ in honour of her. Because she’s always with us. Let’s be better because of her, she was our example.”