One year ago, the world said goodbye to one of the most inspirational people in sports history, Kobe Bryant. The Los Angeles Lakers great holds his rightful spot in history as one of the greatest to have ever shot a basketball, and his legacy will continue to impact future generations of ballers for years to come. 

Kobe Bryant passed away following a tragic helicopter crash in Calabasas, which took the lives of eight others, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant. The passing of Kobe and Gianna marked one of the most heart-wrenching moments of a year that was the most horrific in most of our lives. Between a deadly pandemic taking millions of lives, a highly stressful election, and yearlong protests combatting white supremacy and systemic racism, Kobe and Gianna’s tragedy remains one of the most devastating moments of 2020. Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s widow and Gianna’s mother, took today to reflect on the disaster, sharing a letter from one of Gigi’s best friends on Instagram.

“Today I received this sweet letter from one of Gianna’s best friends, Aubrey. I love you Aubz (as my Gigi would call you). Thank you so much for beautifully sharing some of your memories of my Gigi with me and allowing me to share them here on my ig,” wrote Vanessa, posting a letter in which Aubrey details how Gianna would coach her closest friends on how to become better versions of themselves. “My Gigi is INCREDIBLE and I truly appreciate your thoughtful letter. She loves you so much. I miss my baby girl and Kob-Kob so much, too. I will never understand why/how this tragedy could’ve happened to such beautiful, kind and amazing human beings. It still doesn’t seem real. Kob, we did it right. Gigi, you still make mommy proud. I love you! #PlayGigisWay #Mambacita #Mamba #DaddysGirl #GirlDad.”

Vanessa Bryant Mourns Kobe & Gianna: "I Miss My Baby Girl & Kob-Kob So Much"
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the tragedy that took the lives of Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, and seven others. Join us in sending love to the Bryant family, as well as the families of the other victims.