An emotional tribute was given in honor of the late Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna during the NAACP Image Awards this past Saturday.
The annual star-studded awards ceremony, which honors the achievements and performances of people of color, featured some of the historic black figures who have died recently in an emotional Memoriam display.
The ‘In Memoriam’ segment paid special tribute to the late NBA star Kobe Bryant, who passed away on January 26 along with daughter Gianna and seven other people in a helicopter crash.
A basketball hoop appeared on stage underneath three screens. Audio from Kobe’s NBA farewell speech played. A screen displayed memorable moments from his career and his life amid a backdrop of purple and gold lights.
Kobe jersey banners unfurled on each screen that surrounded the main attraction, one with number 8 and one with number 24, which he wore while playing for the Lakers.
“Thank you guys for all your sacrifice,” Kobe says in the audio. “What can I say? Mamba out.”
The tribute ended with a final image of Kobe embracing his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. The entire crowd erupted in applause as the tribute came to a close.
The Los Angeles Lakers will hold another public memorial at the Staples Center on February 24, 2020. It will honor Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna, plus the seven other victims: John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Christina Mauser, and the pilot, Ara Zobayan.
A limited amount of tickets to the memorial are available to the general public. Proceeds from the memorial will benefit the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, which was originally founded by Kobe himself. The Foundation, which hopes to further Kobe’s “legacy through charitable endeavors in sports,” recently added “Mambacita” to the title to honor Gianna.
The date of the memorial, 2/24/20, holds special significance for Kobe’s family. Kobe wore the number 24 on his jersey for the latter half of his career. Gianna wore jersey number 2 at the Mamba Sports Academy. The number 20 represents the number of years that Kobe and wife Vanessa were together.