Kobe Bryant's Widow Vanessa Posts a Somber Valentine Message to the Lakers Icon and Daughter Gianna

Vanessa Bryant, the widow of Kobe Bryant, sent a Valentine's Day message to her late husband Friday that made her followers tear up. Bryant and the couple's 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, along with seven others. The tribute was shared hours after the Los Angeles Lakers shared details on the Celebration of Life memorial.

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A post shared by Vanessa Bryant 🦋 (@vanessabryant) on

"To my forever Valentine, I love you so much," Vanessa wrote. "Missing you so much on your favorite holiday. Te amo per sempre. Kisses to you and Gigi in heaven. Happy Valentine's Day, my babies. With all my love, your boo-boo."

Vanessa included an old photo of herself with Bryant, with Lauryn Hill's song "Tell Him" playing.

The post was quickly met by thousands of Bryant fans showing their support by posting heart emojis. Others left emotional messages.

"Praying for you & the girls queen," one person wrote.

"I'm really praying for you and your family," another wrote.

"Sending you all the love I can muster," singer Ashleigh Smith wrote.

Vanessa shared her post just hours after the Lakers revealed details for the Celebration of Life public memorial for Bryant and Gianna at the STAPLES Center on Monday, Feb. 24. Fans will need to buy tickets, which go on sale on Wednesday, Feb. 19. Tickets are priced at $224 each, and $24.02 for each additional ticket.

Proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, which was established by Bryant before his death to support youth spots. On Thursday, Vanessa announced she was adding Gianna's nickname Mambacita to the foundation's name.

"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 on Instagram. "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.. We hope to empower young athletes in a world they left us all to help shape."

Bryant and Vanessa met in 1999, when Vanessa was 17 and Bryant was 21. They became engaged while she was still a senior in high school and married in April 2001.


Bryant is also survived by their three other daughters, Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and 7-month-old Capri.

Photo credit: Getty Images