Vanessa Bryant Shares Tribute To Daughter Gianna Hours Before Memorial

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Soccer star Sydney Leroux Dwyer paid tribute to Gianna Bryant by getting a tattoo in the late teen's honor.

On Monday (February 24), just hours before her daughter and husband's public memorial service, Vanessa Bryant shared a photo of the new ink her friend, Sydney, got in memory of Gigi, who passed away alongside her father Kobe Bryant and seven others in a tragic helicopter crash last month.

"#2 ❤️,Leroux. Thank you for honoring my Gigi. I love you @sydneyleroux," V captioned the Instagram photo that showed the Olympic gold medalist's tattoo of the number two, which was Gianna's basketball jersey number and is Sydney's soccer jersey number.

Following news of Gigi and Kobe's death, the Orlando Pride star shared an emotional tribute to them on Instagram, writing, "Gigi you were a star. Your dad told me that you were going to be better than he was. You had the gift no matter what you were playing. I know you’ll be looking down on your mom and your sisters with your big smile while shooting hoops with your dad, doing what you both love. 2 will always be ours."

Sydney added, "Kobe - thank you for allowing me in to your beautiful family. Thank you for believing in me. Being there for me during the good times and the tough ones. For your crazy book recommendations and your quotes. For helping me write. For teaching me to never soften for anybody. For teaching me about the darkness and the light and the villains becoming the heroes. I won’t forget any of it. I’ll miss you."

The life and legacy of Kobe and Gigi will be celebrated at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Monday afternoon.

Earlier this month, Vanessa announced the plans for Kobe and Gigi's public memorial on Instagram. "#2, #24, #20 years as a Laker and the amount of years Kob and I were together ❤️❤️💜💛," she captioned the memorial announcement, pointing to the significance of the memorial date, 2/24/20. The date holds a special meaning as it was chosen in honor of Gigi and Kobe's jersey numbers, 2 and 24, respectively. Kobe also played 20-years in the NBA.

The memorial comes two days before the month-anniversary of the fatal helicopter accident, which claimed the lives of Kobe, Gigi, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Christina Mauser, and the helicopter's pilot Ara Zobayan. The nine passengers, excluding the pilot, were parents and players from the Mamba Sports Academy girls’ team, who were on their way to a youth basketball game in Thousand Oaks.

Kobe and Gigi's public memorial service follows a private burial the family held for them a few weeks ago.

Photo: Getty Images

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