Kobe Bryant Celebration of Life: Who is Sydney Leroux?

Kobe Bryant's wife, Vanessa Bryant, shared a photo on Instagram Monday morning and revealed that a family friend named Sydney Leroux had gotten a tattoo in honor of Gianna Bryant. The tattoo was a simple No. 2 in block lettering, which was Gianna's jersey number. Fans felt that this was a touching tribute to the 13-year-old daughter of Bryant and Vanessa, but they also wanted to know more about the woman with the tattoo.

Leroux is a soccer star, as well as a close family friend. She plays forward for the Orlando Pride in the National Women's Soccer League. She was a member of the 2015 United States women's team that won the FIFA World Cup. Leroux also wears No. 2 on her jersey, the same number as Gianna.

"Thank you for honoring my Gigi," Vanessa wrote on Instagram. "I love you @syndeyleroux." The soccer star first connected with the Bryant family due to the daughters being among her fans but had since come to view the late NBA icon as a mentor.

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"Gigi you were a star," Leroux wrote in the caption of an Instagram tribute to Bryant and Gianna. "Your dad told me that you were going to be better than he was. You had the gift no matter what you were playing. I know you'll be looking down on your mom and your sisters with your big smile while shooting hoops with your dad, doing what you both love. 2 will always be ours."

Leroux also honored Bryant's memory with this Instagram tribute, writing about how he affected her life on both professional and personal levels. He taught her to be a better competitor on the field, but he also helped her mindset with book recommendations and various quotes throughout the years.

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"thank you for allowing me in to your beautiful family. Thank you for believing in me. Being there for me during the good times and the tough ones. For your crazy book recommendations and your quotes. For helping me write. For teaching me to never soften for anybody. For teaching me about the darkness and the light and the villains becoming the heroes. I won't forget any of it. I'll miss you," Leroux wrote following Bryant's death.

(Photo Credit: Howard Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images)