After accepting her father’s Hall of Fame jacket the night before, Natalia Bryant flew back home to attend her senior prom–and she just shared photos of the important occasion.
Kobe Bryant’s Basketball Hall of Fame induction was a two-night event, but his eldest daughter was only in attendance for the first night. After being postponed for six months due to the pandemic, the second night ended up falling on the same evening as Natalia’s prom.
While most would argue that the Lakers legend’s honor is a lot cooler than going to a high school dance, it was important to Vanessa Bryant that Natalia get to have that experience she missed out on–especially since she’s already experienced so much loss in the past year and a half.
In an Instagram post sending her off, Bryant revealed that she missed her own senior prom because she was already engaged to Kobe, telling a joke about her late husband laughing in heaven while still trying to keep his daughter away from boys.
“Natalia almost missed her senior prom last night,” she wrote on Instagram on Monday. “When I was a senior in high school, Kobe and I were engaged and he had a playoff game the night of my prom. Kobe didn’t want me going to prom without him and I didn’t want to go without him. When we heard Natalia’s prom night and Kobe’s Hall of Fame night were on the same night, I looked at Natalia and said, ‘well if it’s any consolation, daddy kept me from going to my prom, so it’s only right that he tried to keep you from going to yours.’ 😃 Of course we laughed because even in heaven, he’s still trying to make moves and keep the boys away.”
She continued, “Natalia’s experienced so much loss, I couldn’t let her miss out on her once in a lifetime opportunity to go to her senior prom. Thank you for flying out to accept daddy’s Hall of Fame jacket and fly home the next morning.”
It looks like Natalia was excited about not missing her prom, going on to share photos of her dress, and showcasing just how stunning she looked for the occasion. The 18-year-old, who recently signed with IMG models, posted a posed picture along with a few TikTok videos donning a pink off-the-shoulder dress along with some simple, natural makeup.
“Prom!” she wrote in her caption for one photo. In another, she thanked her aunt for helping her get ready for the occasion since her mother was still back in Massachusetts for the Hall of Fame festivities: “Getting ready for prom with Auntie Celi ♥️ I love you!”
“It takes a village,” Vanessa wrote in the comments, “I love you both so much. 😘❤️”