Pau Gasol, who previously played with the late Kobe Bryant on the Los Angeles Lakers, has officially become a girl dad. He announced Sunday that he and his wife, Catherine McDonnell, welcomed their first child — a baby daughter. They also honored Bryant's daughter, Gianna, who was one of nine victims in a Jan. 26 helicopter crash.
"Our little one has finally arrived!! The delivery went really well and we couldn't be happier!! Elisabet Gianna Gasol [heart eyes emoji], a very meaningful name for our super beautiful daughter!!" the former Lakers star wrote in his Instagram post. He posted two photos, one of which showed the happy family together in the hospital. McDonnell also shared her own update and revealed that she gave birth on Thursday.
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"She made a quick and easy entrance on a VERY special day, her great-grandmother Elizabeth's 100th birthday and her mom and dad's 2nd engagement anniversary. [pink heart emoji] We are already so in love with our sweet Ellie!! [purple heart emoji]," McDonnell wrote.
Vanessa Bryant, who is the child's godmother, also reacted to the news with a post on social media. She said that she is "so touched" by the request to honor Gianna and that she can't wait to hold the newborn. Vanessa also commented on both announcement posts and said that she loves all three members of the family.
Gasol has long been close to the Bryant family and has taken steps to provide support following the tragic helicopter crash. For example, he and McDonnell sent a birthday cake to Vanessa on what would have been Gianna's birthday. They joined the multitudes remembering the young basketball player.
The top of the cake read "Happy Birthday Gigi." The color of the cake was while and gold, which was covered with multi-colored butterfly decorations, according to PEOPLE. At the bottom, there was a banner that had Gianna's "Mambacitia" nickname. Vanessa posted a photo of the cake on her private Instagram account and expressed her gratitude to her friends. "Thank you [Pau Gasol] [Cat Mcdonnell 7]," she wrote.
Gasol was Kobe's teammate from 2008 to 2014, and the duo helped the Los Angeles Lakers win two NBA championships during that span. They helped propel the team to several wins en route to joint trips to the All-Star Weekend. Following the 2014 season, Gasol finished his career with the Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks, but he remained close to the family.