Vanessa Bryant commemorated her daughter Natalia Bryant’s first day of school with a tradition started by the late Kobe Bryant.
On Monday, August 21, Natalia, 20, shared via Instagram Story that she received a sweet bouquet of roses from her mom with the note, “Happy first day of school! Love you always, Daddy.”
Natalia captioned the post, “First day of school always @kobebryant. Thank you mommy @vanessabryant.”
Vanessa, 41, shared in August 2021 that she was dropping Natalia off at University of Southern California.
“Today was rough,” she captioned an Instagram selfie with Natalia and daughters Bianka, 6, and Capri, 4. “This was before the tears came down. Missing forever. I Love you @nataliabryant. BE EPIC and FIGHT ON.”
Kobe died at age 41 in a January 2020 helicopter crash that also killed his and Vanessa’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, along with seven other passengers. Following their deaths, Vanessa and her kids have frequently kept their legacy alive.
In September 2020, Vanessa sued the L.A. County Sheriff’s Office for negligence, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress. In her filing, she alleged that eight sheriff’s deputies took pictures of the wreckage for their personal use. Nearly two years later, Vanessa and Chris Chester, who lost his wife and daughter in the crash, were awarded a combined $31 million by a Los Angeles jury, with Vanessa winning $16 million and Chester winning $15 million.
“All for you! I love you! JUSTICE for Kobe and Gigi!” Vanessa wrote via Instagram alongside a photo of herself with Kobe and Gianna.
In February, her settlement grew to $28.85 million as the county tried to resolve all other litigation and further legal action from Vanessa’s three daughters.
“Today marks the successful culmination of Mrs. Bryant’s courageous battle to hold accountable those who engaged in this grotesque conduct,” Vanessa’s attorney, Luis Li, said in a statement to ABC News. “She fought for her husband, her daughter, and all those in the community whose deceased family were treated with similar disrespect. We hope her victory at trial and this settlement will put an end to this practice.”
Vanessa has also honored her husband by partnering with Nike in 2022 to produce Kobe’s iconic sneakers.
“We’re excited to announce our partnership with Nike is going to continue!” she wrote via Instagram at the time. “I am so proud that my husband’s shoes are still the most worn by players on NBA courts and that the demand for his shoes remain so desired by his fans around the world.”
According to their new agreement, Nike will donate 100 percent of the net proceeds yearly for Gianna’s shoes to the family’s Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, which provides funding and sports programming for underserved athletes.