Kobe Bryant‘s wife, Vanessa, is honouring her late husband and daughter Gianna through the basketball player’s charity foundation.
Vanessa Bryant announced on Thursday that Kobe’s organization will now be called the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation in memory of her family members, who tragically died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., on Jan. 26.
On Instagram, Vanessa posted the foundation’s new logo and wrote: “There is no #24 without #2.” Gianna, or “Gigi,” was also a basketball player and wore a No. 2 jersey, while her dad famously wore No. 24.
“Our mission remains the same — and stronger than ever — to provide opportunities to young people through sports,” Vanessa wrote on the platform.
“Thank you all for the outpouring of support and your kind donations to date as we carry forth Kobe and Gigi’s legacy… We hope to empower young athletes in a world they left us all to help shape.”
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Because there is no #24 without #2, we have updated the Mamba Sports Foundation to now be called the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation. Our mission remains the same – and stronger than ever – to provide opportunities to young people through sports. Thank you all for the outpouring of support and your kind donations to date as we carry forth Kobe and Gigi’s legacy.. We hope to empower young athletes in a world they left us all to help shape. #Mamba #Mambacita #wings @mambamambacitasports
On the foundation’s website, it says its goal is “focused on creating a positive impact through sports” by helping people develop skills and fostering self-confidence.
Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation is part of the Mamba Sports Academy, an organization Kobe co-founded in 2018. Kobe took an active role in coaching Gianna, 13, at his Mamba Sports Academy, and he touted her as a basketball star in the making.
The foundation announced the name change on Thursday as well, posting on Instagram that it will “further Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s legacy in youth sports and beyond.”
Kobe and Gianna were among nine people who died when Kobe’s private Sikorsky S-76 helicopter went down. The helicopter was on its way to a girls’ basketball game when it crashed.
A memorial for Kobe and Gianna will be held at the Staples Center on Feb. 24 at 10 a.m., Vanessa wrote on Instagram. Vigils were previously held the week of their deaths.
Kobe is survived by Vanessa and their three children, Natalie, 17, Bianka, 3, and seven-month-old Capri.
— With a file from Global News’ Meaghan Wray and Josh Elliot
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