Trae Young, One of Gianna Bryant's Favorite Players, Sent Reeling After Her and Kobe's Deaths: 'I Can’t Believe This'

Fans around the world have been left reeling after the news about Kobe Bryant's death. The NBA legend, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant, and several others died as a result of a helicopter crash on Sunday, Jan. 26 in Calabasas, California, per TMZ. Following the report, many spoke out about the legacy that Bryant and Gianna would be leaving behind. Trae Young, an Atlanta Hawks point guard who was one of Gianna's favorite players to watch, even wrote an emotional tribute to the late father and daughter.

"This S*** can't be real," Young wrote on Twitter, captioning photos of when he met Kobe and Gianna. "this the first moment I was able to meet Gianna Maria, she's been to only 3 games this year... 2 of them were mine... She told me I was her favorite player to watch."

"I can't believe this," he added. "Rest Easy Gigi."

Young donned a jersey with the number 8 on it during a Jan. 26 game in honor of Kobe, as he went on to showcase on Twitter. In a subsequent tweet, the Atlanta Hawks player noted that he matched one of Kobe's records during the recent game, which only added to his already-emotional tribute.

"Can't make this up," he wrote with a tear-filled emoji in reference to the record, which saw him having a 45-point double-double with under 25 field goal attempts against the Washington Wizards. As user Kevin Keneely noted, the last person to achieve this was Kobe on Dec. 17, 2006.

"He was with me tonight," Young added.

Kobe and his daughter, who was a rising basketball star, bonded over their love of the sport. As the former Laker explained, he even got back into watching basketball because of Gianna.

"You know what's funny, before Gigi got into basketball I hardly watched it, but now that's she's into basketball, we watch every night," Kobe said on the All the Smoke podcast in early January, per PEOPLE. "She likes watching Trae Young a lot, she watched Luka Doncic a lot, she watches James Harden, she watches Russell Westbrook, I mean she watches [LeBron James]."

"When I took her to the Laker game, that's the first Laker game I've been to I think since my jersey retirement," he continued. "We just had so much fun because it was the first time I was seeing the game through her eyes."


"It wasn't me sitting there, you know, as an athlete or a player or something like that, and you know it's like about me, and I don't like that," Kobe added. "It was her, she was having such a good time."

Photo Credit: Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images