Natalia Bryant, the daughter of the late Kobe Bryant, took a moment on Saturday to honor another victim of the Jan. 26 helicopter crash. Nine people died, including Kobe and her sister Gianna Bryant. Natalia posted a photo on her Instagram Stories that showed late baseball coach John Altobelli.
"Happy Birthday Mr. Alto [heart emoji]," Bryant captioned the photo. She used an image that was originally posted on the Orange Coast College Baseball Instagram account. Altobelli would have turned 57 years old on Saturday. Both his team and Bryant still took the opportunity to pay tribute to him on his birthday.
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Altobelli was the head coach of the OCC Pirates baseball team for 27 years prior to his death. During his tenure, he built a reputation for being a "father figure" to many of his players. One example is Ryan Evans, a former member of Altobelli's team.
"I didn't have a father in my life," Evans told ESPN. "Alto played the role of my father. He may not have known it, but I know it. Coaches can be fathers to us kids without knowing it. He was one of mine. I love him and his family for sharing him with us."
Bryant also wished Gianna a happy birthday on May 1. Her younger sister would have turned 14 years old. She posted a photo that showed them embracing and said that she misses Gianna's smile everyday.
"Happy 14th Birthday Gigi! [heart emoji] I miss your smile everyday but I know you're always smiling down on us from heaven with daddy.I LOVE YOU," Bryant wrote in the caption of her Instagram post. Several users also commented with messages about this photo being sweet and wished Gianna a happy birthday.
Bryant is one of the many that have taken opportunities to honor the nine victims — Kobe, Gianna, Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Christina Mauser, and Ara Zobayan — following the helicopter crash. One example is NASCAR driver Daniel Suarez, who used the Auto Club 400 in February to pay tribute. He put decals on the doors of his stock car that listed all of the victims. Following the race, Suarez auctioned off custom Kobe gloves and shoes that he had worn. His goal was to raises funds to support the victims' families. The auction ended on March 6 and raised $5,256 for the MambaOnThree Fund.