GiGi Bryant Honored By UConn With Touching Tribute
Kobe Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna “GiGi” Bryant had BIG dreams before her life was cut short. The teen wanted to, of course, follow in her dad’s footsteps and play basketball, but she wanted to do it at one school in particular; UConn.
ESPN reports that after Sunday’s tragedy, UConn and USA Basketball honored GiGi at the start of an exhibition game Monday at XL Center. The Huskies placed a No. 2 UConn jersey with flowers on their bench in tribute to Gigi and referred to her as “forever a Husky.”
UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma told ESPN he fondly recalled speaking Italian with Kobe and said he was pleased to hear that Gianna was so smitten with the Huskies program that she considered UConn her dream college.
“You could just see the look in her eyes. She was so excited,” said Auriemma said of Gigi’s excitement to meet the Huskies, who in turn were starstruck by her father. “That’s what she aspired to be.”
“When she came up here on campus, if she could have stayed, I think she would have stayed.”
The Huskies also honored Kobe by featuring a photo of Bryant and Gigi together at a game and with a 24-second moment of silence. The game started with two more tributes to Bryant; an eight-second backcourt violation and later the Huskies held the ball and ran out the 24-second shot clock.
Shoutout to the Huskies for paying their respects to the Bryant family.