Vanessa Bryant, the wife of the late Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, broke her silence on social media Wednesday, three days after her husband and 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, died in a helicopter crash.
Vanessa changed her profile photo on Instagram to a photo of her husband and daughter embracing. She also unlocked her previously private account, giving the public access to dozens of photos of her family, though the comments were switched off.
The account displayed photos of the four daughters Vanessa and Kobe had together-- the late Gianna, Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months -- as well as photos of the loving couple, who married in 2001. Vanessa was 18 at the time and Kobe was 22.
The account also contained photos of Kobe and Gianna, his basketball protege. The two died on their way to a basketball tournament for Gianna.
Kobe Bryant was to help coach the Lady Mambas. Two of Gianna's teammates, Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester, were on board, along with three of their parents. Girls basketball coach Christina Mauser was also on board. The Sikorsky S-76B helicopter became enshrouded in fog before it plunged into a Calabasas hillside around 10 a.m. No one survived the crash.
Professional athletes paid tribute to the NBA legend by posting photos with their daughters under the hashtag #girldad after ESPN anchor Elle Duncan recalled a time when Bryant labeled himself as such to her.
Duncan said she asked Bryant if he and his wife were planning on having any more kids. Bryant said, "Vanessa wanted to try again for a boy, but was jokingly concerned it would be a girl."
He added, "I would have five more girls if I could. I'm a girl dad."