Who is Kobe Bryant?
Kobe Bryant was an American former professional basketball player who has left an indelible mark in American sports and in the hearts of many fans. He is widely remembered as one of the most successful basketball players of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Bryant is fondly referred to as “Black Mamba” by his fans. The nickname was inspired by the code name of an assassin in the cult film “Kill Bill” by Quentin Tarantino.
Kobe Bryant’s full name is Kobe Bean Bryant. He was born on August 23, 1978, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the United States to his parents: Joe Bryant (father) and Pamela Cox Bryant (mother). Bryant was the youngest of three children.
According to reports, Kobe Bryant was named after the famous beef of Kobe, a city in Japan, which his parents saw on a restaurant menu while his middle name “Bean” was gotten from his father’s nickname “Jellybean”.
Sadly, Kobe Bryant passed away on January 26, 2020, at the age of 41. Bryant and eight others, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.
About Kobe Bryant’s siblings
Kobe Bryant grew up alongside his two older sisters, Sharia Washington and Shaya Tabb.
a. Sharia Washington is the eldest of Kobe Bryant’s sisters. She was born on March 19, 1976, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is 46 years old as of July 2022. Sharia Washington works as the director of sales and partnerships at Sun50, an apparel brand that focuses on clothing with sun protection. According to reports, Sharia is happily married to Jerrod Washington, and the union is blessed with three children.
b. Shaya Tabb is the second eldest sister of Kobe Bryant. She was born on July 30, 1977, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. She is 44 years old as of July 2022. She is an American socialite, businesswoman and celebutante. She is also a director at “Invest Hospitality”, a revenue management firm based in Las Vegas. Shaya Tabb is also married to her husband, Michael Tabb and the union is blessed with three children.
Kobe Bryant’s marriage and wedding
Before his death, Kobe Bryant was married to his long-term girlfriend, Vanessa Bryant. The pair met in 1999 and tied the knot in 2001. The union was blessed with four children, Natalia, Gianna, Bianka and Capri.
About Kobe Bryant’s wife- Vanessa Bryant
Vanessa Bryant (née Laine) is the wife of Kobe Bryant. She is an American philanthropist, business executive, and former model who became a public figure after her marriage to Kobe.
Vanessa Bryant’s full name is Vanessa Urbieta Cornejo. She was born on May 5, 1982, in Los Angeles, California, United States. She is 40 years old as of June 2022. Vanessa Bryant attended St. Boniface Parochial School, California, the United States in 1996 where she was part of the varsity cheerleading squad. She was later transferred to Marina High School, Huntington Beach, California, the United States where she graduated in 2000. Aside from being a philanthropist and business executive, Vanessa has also appeared in many music videos for various artists including Snoop Dogg, Pharell Williams, Ludacris, among others.
About Kobe and Vanessa Bryant’s marriage
Kobe Bryant and Vanessa first met in 1999 on the music video set for the song “G’d Up” when they were both 21 and 17 years old respectively. However, their relationship caused a stir at Vanessa’s high school which led her to complete her senior year at home. Six months into their relationship, they got engaged in 2000, and the following year (2001), they tied the knot in Dana Point, California, United States.
In 2003, they welcomed their first child, Natalia in Los Angeles, California, United States. That same year, Kobe was charged with sexual assault after he was accused wrongly by a 19-year-old hotel employee. Two years later, Vanessa Bryant was pregnant with what would have been their second child, but unfortunately, she suffered a miscarriage. The following year, the pair welcomed their second daughter, Gianna, in 2006.
On December 6, 2011, Vanessa Bryant filed for divorce against Kobe, citing irreconcilable differences. However, news of the intended split sparked speculations of financial issues. In 2013, Kobe and Vanessa revealed on social media that they have called off the divorce and had gotten back together. Three years later, they welcomed their third daughter, Bianka and in 2019, they welcomed their fourth daughter Capri. Sadly, Kobe and his second daughter, Gianna were involved in the tragic helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, that claimed their lives.
In 2021, on what would have been their 20th year anniversary, Vanessa took to her Instagram page to share two posts for the occasion.
Happy Anniversary baby, I love you. 20 years.
Kobe Bryant’s children
Kobe Bryant was the father of four children who are all girls.
- Natalia Bryant
- Gianna Bryant
- Bianka Bryant and
- Capri Bryant
The number of Kobe’s children has reduced to three following the death of his second eldest daughter, Gianna Bryant, who passed away on January 26, 2020, in Calabasas, California, United States.
|Name||Gender||Age (as of 2022)|
|Natalia Diamante Bryant||Female||19|
|Gianna Marie-Onore Bryant||Female||13 (as of the year of her death)|
|Bianka Bella Bryant||Female||5|
|Capri Kobe Bryant||Female||3|
About Kobe Bryant’s children
a. Natalia Diamante Bryant, fondly referred to as “Nani”, is an American model and the eldest of Kobe’s daughters. She was born on January 19, 2003, in Los Angeles, California, United States. She is 19 years old as of July 2022. In 2021, Natalia Bryant graduated from Sage Hill High School, Newport Beach, California, where she was the captain of the school’s volleyball team. Following her graduation, she got signed to IMG Models, a talent discovery and model management agency based in New York City. Natalia is currently majoring in film at the University of Southern California (USC).
b. Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant, fondly referred to as “Gigi”, was an American basketball player and the second eldest daughter of Kobe Bryant and his wife Vanessa. She was born on May 1, 2006, in Orange Country, California, United States. She passed away on January 26, 2020, in Calabasas, California, the United States at the age of 13. She had a close relationship with her father which made fans call her the female version of Kobe. She also adopted the nickname “Mambacita”, a twist of her dad’s nickname “Black Mamba”. Gigi had been following in her father’s footsteps right from when she was little which prompted her to play for the Mamba Sports Academy where she was coached by her father until their tragic death.
c. Bianka Bella Bryant, fondly referred to as “BB”, is the third of Kobe Bryant’s daughters. She was born on December 6, 2016, in Newport Beach, California, United States. She is five years old as of July 2022.
d. Capri Kobe Bryant, fondly referred to as “Koko-Bean”, is the youngest daughter of Kobe and Vanessa Bryant. She was born on June 20, 2019. She is three years old as of July 2022. Capri was barely a year old when her father and sister died in a tragic helicopter crash.
About Kobe Bryant’s death
On January 26, 2020, Kobe and his daughter, Gianna alongside seven others were headed to Gianna’s basketball game at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, United States. Not long after the takeoff, the helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California 30 miles north of Los Angeles, killing everyone on board. The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards ceremony (hosted by Alicia Keys) took place on the same day of Kobe Bryant’s death and the ceremony became the first of countless tributes for him and his daughter.
The Los Angeles Airport, the Empire State Building, and the Burj Khalifa were all lit in the Lakers’ colours (purple and yellow) in tribute to Kobe. His longtime teammate and one-time rival, Shaquille O’Neal as well as his fellow NBA legend Michael Jordan both expressed pain on hearing the shocking news of his death.
According to reports sighted by DNB Stories Africa, Kobe’s body was first unrecognizable, but an autopsy caught a tattoo of a crown on his right shoulder above where his wife’s name Vanessa was imprinted as well as the names of his three daughters, Natalia, Gianna and Bella which were imprinted on the lower right arm.
According to Vanessa, she found out about Kobe’s death through the “RIP Kobe” notifications on her phone. She further revealed that while she was informed about the crash, she wasn’t aware that her husband and daughter had died. That same year, she sued Los Angeles County for negligence due to taking pictures of the victims and sharing them improperly and a trial was set for February 22, 2022.
That same year also, Vanessa Bryant changed the name of Kobe’s Mamba Sports Foundation to the “Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation” in honour of Gianna. The foundation works to support poor child athletes.
Venezuelan artist, Dan Medina built the 160-pound statue of Kobe and his daughter and erected it over the site of the crash. The statue depicts Kobe in his Lakers uniform placing his hand on his daughter’s shoulder and Gianna holding a basketball. He also inscribed the statue with the phrase:
“Heroes come and go, but legends live forever”.
About Kobe Bryant’s sexual assault case
In 2003, Kobe Bryant was arrested by the cops after a sexual assault complaint was filed against him by a 19-year-old hotel employee. The girl accused Kobe of raping her in his hotel room where he lodged in advance for his surgery. According to reports, Kobe Bryant admitted to sleeping with the girl but claimed that the sex was consensual. However, it took 14 months for the case to be resolved. Eventually, the case was dropped after the accuser decided not to testify. Though the case was later dropped, the accusation damaged Kobe’s image a bit and he reportedly lost some endorsement deals because of it.
Kobe Bryant and Brandy relationship
Brandy Norwood popularly known as Brandy is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and model born on February 11, 1979, in McComb Mississippi, United States. She is 43 years old as of June 2022.
Kobe Bryant and Brandy first met at the Essence Awards in 1996 at the Madison Square Garden. According to reports, Kobe had come home in high spirits, explaining to his mother that he met a nice and intelligent person. At that point, Kobe Bryant was getting ready for his senior prom and was wondering who he would take along. Although he was shy, he asked someone else to ask Brandy if she would like to go to prom with him. Luckily, Brandy agreed and they both went to prom together and ended up stealing the show.
Brandy and Kobe Bryant reportedly went their separate ways after prom. After Kobe died in the crash, Brandy took to her Instagram page to post a heartbreaking caption that reads:
Never will I understand. My condolences to @vanessabryant and all the families who are in pain during these tragic times.