Vanessa Bryant Renames Charity ‘Mamba & Mambacita’ To Honor Kobe And Gianna
After the death of her husband and oldest daughter, Kobe and Gianna Bryant, newly widowed Vanessa Bryant renamed "The Mamba Sports Foundation" to the "Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation." The change was made to honor Kobe and Gianna after they perished in a helicopter crash on January 26th along with seven other victims.
Widow Vanessa Bryant took to Instagram on Thursday to announce that she has changed the name of "The Mamba Sports Foundation" to "Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation." Vanessa noted in the caption some of her logic behind the change,
"because there is no #24 without #2, we have updated the Mamba Sports Foundation to now be called the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation."
During his decades-long basketball career, Kobe acquired the nickname "Mamba." After developing her own hoop-shooting skills, Kobe's daughter Gianna earned the title "Mambacita."
Vanessa Bryant made the change to include both nicknames nearly three weeks after the fatal helicopter crash occurred on January 26th. The change that honors Kobe and his teenage daughter has already been made on the foundation's official website.
Along with the update of the name, Vanessa recognized fans' support in the caption of her post, saying, "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."
The widow also added, "we hope to empower young athletes in a world they left us all to help shape."
According to the foundation's website, the goal of the sports academy is to provide "a positive impact through sports" as well as "further Kobe and Gianna Bryant's legacy through charitable endeavors in sports." The foundation has many training programs and teams, including the youth basketball team of which Gianna and other crash victims were players.
"The Foundation aims to develop learning skills, enhancing character traits, and expanding personal values that ultimately empower and inspire self-confidence."
Gianna Bryant was coached in basketball by her father, and they even attended many NBA games together. The victims of the helicopter crash were on their way to a youth basketball tournament when the incident happened.Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images
The victims of the crash will be honored at the Staples Center in Los Angeles during a public memorial on February 24th. The date coordinates with the two numbers worn by the players– #24 for Kobe and #2 for Gianna.
Three members of the Altobelli family and pilot Ara Zobayan were killed in the crash along with Christina Mauser and Sarah Chester.
According to CNN, Mauser aided Bryant in coaching the girls' basketball team, which also included players Payton Chester and Alyssa Altobelli along with Gianna herself.Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images
According to the New York Times, there was no record of engine failure found in Calabasas, in the remains of the helicopter crash. The death certificates of Kobe and Gianna Bryant recorded that both of them died from blunt force trauma in a "rapid" manner.
The three victims from the Altobelli family were honored on Monday at a public memorial.Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images
What do you think about the change in the sports foundation's name? How are you honoring Kobe, Gianna, and the other victims? Let us know below and send this article along to others so they can also share their thoughts and support.