LOS ANGELES >> Gianna Bryant always wanted to follow in her father Kobe Bryant’s footsteps.
And Bryant and others in the NBA saw much of the father’s spark and determination in his daughter.
Gianna, 13, and Bryant were among the victims of a helicopter crash that took the lives of all passengers and the pilot Sunday morning in Calabasas.
Bryant coached his daughter’s club team and would take them to watch professional basketball teams. During games, he’d talk to them about certain plays and situations.
Gianna was quick to remind people that her father, who had four daughters, didn’t need a son to continue the family’s basketball legacy, according to the revered former NBA star.
Bryant would send videos of his daughter’s basketball games to Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, Gianna’s godfather.
A 2019 viral video of Gianna’s basketball highlights showed her using moves she learned from her dad.
Bryant described his daughter as “something else” when she’s on the court.
She’s “hell-bent” on playing for Geno Auriemma at the University of Connecticut and one day for the WNBA, Bryant told the Los Angeles Times in 2019.
Los Angeles Sparks coach Derek Fisher, who won five titles with Bryant and the Lakers, said the former NBA superstar and Gianna “have similar demeanor and personality.”