The WNBA Draft is set to air on Friday and will be all virtual. Vanessa Bryant is looking forward to the WNBA Draft, because her late husband, Kobe Bryant and their daughter Gianna, will be honored. Both Kobe and Gianna died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 along with seven other people, including Gianna's basketball teammates Alyssa Altobelli and Peyton Chester. Bryant took to Instagram on Friday to pay tribute to Gianna, Alyssa, and Peyton, and mentioned they will be "honorary" draft picks.
Back in February, WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert mentioned the league would honor the three girls at the draft. "Our next big tentpole for the WNBA is our draft in April, so we'll clearly be honoring those three young 13-year-old basketball players — the future of our game," she said, adding when it came to Kobe, he would be recognized as well. "I've been telling people that he's the only NBA player that reached out and came to see me at the WNBA offices since I started as the commissioner six months ago. The first thing he said to me was, 'Cathy, I spent four hours every day on girls sports and I love it.' We talked for two hours about his commitment to the WNBA, the women, the players and obviously his commitment to his team that he was coaching. [It's] just really a loss and a loss of a big advocate."
Bryant recently expressed her frustration with losing Kobe and Gianna. Earlier this week, NBA fans celebrated the anniversary of Kobe's final game, and Vanessa posted a highlight reel of the Los Angeles Lakers legend. She also wrote in the caption how upset she was of losing her husband and daughter.
0commentsView this post on Instagram
"My husband worked his a— off for 20 years. Gave it his all. All he wanted was to spend time with our girls and me to make up for lost time," she wrote. "He wanted to be there for every single milestone and special moment in our girls lives. He only got to enjoy 3 years and 9 months of retirement.
"We had 2 more daughters, he won an Oscar, he opened Granity studios, he became a 5x best selling author and coached Gianna's basketball team in that time," Vanessa continued. "She worked hard and gave her all 7 days a week just like her daddy. I wish I could back to that morning, every day. I wish they had a normal local game on 1/26. Life truly isn't fair. This is just senseless."