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"S***, the kid's like me." How 13yo Gigi Bryant was following in her father's footsteps.

Gianna “Gigi” Bryant was well on her way to carrying on her dad’s basketball legacy, when she died alongside him in a helicopter crash on the weekend.

The 13-year-old was the second oldest of Kobe Bryant’s four daughters with wife of 20 years Vanessa Bryant, and was a talented player in her own right.

“The best thing that happens is when we go out and fans would come up to me and she’ll be standing next to me and they’ll be like, ‘You’ve gotta have a boy, you and V gotta have a boy. You gotta have somebody to carry on your tradition, the legacy,’ and she’s like ‘Oy, I got this,” Kobe told Jimmy Kimmel Live in 2018.

Here’s a snippet from the show. Post continues after video.

Video via Jimmy Kimmel

Born on May 1, 2006, Gigi showed her competitive nature at a young age.

Speaking to the New Yorker in 2014, Kobe recalled playing a game of Candyland with a three-year-old Gigi. When he won the game, she knocked over the game board and he remembered thinking: “S***, the kid’s like me”.

When Gigi was about six, and her older sister Natalia was around eight, their parents announced their divorce. But two years later in 2013, they called it off and went on to have two more girls, Bianka Bella Bryant in 2016 and Capri Kobe Bryant last year.

Natalia just turned 17, and there are reports on Twitter that she had an asthma attack and had to be taken to hospital after learning about her dad and sister’s deaths.

There has been no official statement or word from the Bryant household as they come to terms with their immense loss.

Bryant family
The Bryant family in May last year. Image: Instagram/kobebryant.
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Gigi wasn't afraid to dream big, with her dad describing her as a "tornado" on the Jimmy Kimmel show.

She wanted to play in the WNBA one day, but for the time being loved playing on the Mamba Sports Academy side, coached by her dad.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Happy 13th birthday my Gigi! I love you beyond measure baby #teen #daddysgirl #tauro #mambacita

A post shared by Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) on

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Two of her teammates Alyssa and Payton, also 13, died in Sunday's crash too.

READ: Daughters, parents and coaches: The 9 victims of the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash.

Her favourite players, according to Athletic, were LeBron James, Luka Doncic, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Trae Young, and it was in fact Gigi who reignited her dad's love for basketball after he retired in 2016.

Speaking to the All the Smoke podcast just two weeks ago, Kobe said, "So before Gigi got into basketball I hardly watched it, but now that she's into basketball, we watch every night.

"We just had so much fun because it was the first time I was seeing the game through her eyes. It wasn't me sitting there you know as an athlete or a player or something like that, and you know it's like about me, and I don't like that. It was her, she was having such a good time," he said.

In 2017, Kobe told Extra his daughter came to him the summer before and asked if he would teach her the game.

"So she just started playing," he said, describing her game on the court as "pretty fierce".

Gigi and Kobe
Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna at a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Atlanta Hawks in November, 2019. Image: Allen Berezovsky/Getty.

Fast forward a year, and in 2018 Kobe told Entertainment Tonight about how much he enjoyed coaching her side: "I've got a group of great parents, a group of really, really intelligent, hardworking girls, and — they're all seventh graders, they're all 12 years old — but they've been playing so well."

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"Gianna's pretty easy to coach. We haven't had any issues of dad-daughter sort of thing. She's very competitive and she's a hard worker, so there haven't been any issues with that," he added.

The pair were often spotted at games.

A video of them breaking down some gameplay at a Lakers game in November has gone viral since their deaths.

Gigi, Kobe and the seven other people on the helicopter yesterday were on their way to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks to play basketball when it crashed in Calabasas, California, leaving no survivors. The Academy, which is a training facility for all youth sports, was set up by Kobe in 2016.

On his social media profiles, Kobe was a proud family man.

His Instagram is full of photos of his children and wife, with the NBA star recently describing himself as "psychotic" about spending quality time with his family.

“I can be an absolute teddy bear when I’m at home with my family, with my kids enjoying that family time,” Bryant told All The Smoke podcast.

Feature Image: Instagram.

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