It’s a no-brainer that the Bryant children would have the dire love for sports running in their veins. Natalia Diamante Bryant, the firstborn and first daughter of late Kobe Bryant, revealed her interest to be a professional volleyball player.
In an interview with Teen Vogue, young Bryant revealed she wanted to play Volleyball professionally in college. “I wanted to become a D1 athlete; I played club volleyball,” she said in the interview as she expressed her love for the sport.
She decided to quit pursuing her passion for the sport after the tragic accident that took the life of her dad and younger sister. “After the accident, I stopped playing volleyball because… a lot was going on at the time.”
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She added that she knew her passion for Volleyball wasn’t as strong as her sister and dad’s passion for basketball. And their death took a huge toll on her, so she didn’t pursue it further.
Who Is Natalia Bryant?
She was born on January 19, 2003, in California. Young Bryant is the oldest child of the Los Angeles Lakers Legend. Her mother, Vannessa Bryant, gave her the adorable nickname “Nani.”
The nearly six-foot 18-year-old has three younger sisters, Giani, who is now late, Bianka, and Capri Bryant. She is the paternal granddaughter of Joe Bryant, former NBA player and the great-niece of John “Chubby” Cox, also a basketball player. Her father is African-American, and her mother is Mexican.
Earlier this year (2021), she graduated from Sage high school as the volleyball team captain. She set a record for most kills in a season for four years as the high school team captain.
After graduation, she became a professional model and signed to IMG models. She is now a student at the University of Southern California.
Why She Chose Volleyball Over Basketball
Bryant revealed the reason she prefers Volleyball to Basketball in her Teen Vogue story. Her love for Volleyball began when she was nine years old after she and her mom saw Misty May Treanor compete in the 2012 London Olympics.
She further added that she wasn’t confident of her height from the beginning. But she realized the sport was for her when she saw really tall women excel on the court.
She then applied to play club volleyball, as she hoped to become a professional Division one athlete. She never failed to show her dad how much she loved the sport.
She remembered when she dragged her dad to watch inter-university volleyball games. Being a tall girl, she always stood out in most teams she played. She added that her love grew more for the sport because she hated running, which is done in basketball.
Why Did She Give It Up?
Losing a loved one is not easy in the slightest. Sometimes, life has a way of bringing pain when one least expects it.
Young Bryant had it twice as hard when she lost her dad and younger sister to a helicopter crash in early 2020. The world and the Bryant family were thrown into a period of dismay.
The most painful part? The NBA star and his young daughter were on their way to a basketball tournament.
After the tragedy, most interviews she did saw her try to mask the pain of the Bryant family. When she finally opened up, she revealed the incident cut deep and scarred her.
She reflected on her dad and sister’s passion for basketball, and it left her feeling unsure. She decided not to pursue Volleyball in college; rather, she focused on films and modeling.
Remembering Kobe Bryant, The NBA Superstar
Kobe Bryant was an NBA basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers. He was popularly regarded as the greatest b-ball player of all time.
With five NBA championships, an 18-time all-star, a 12-time member of the All NBA team, his resume of greatness just goes on and on. He was partly raised in Italy but born in Philadelphia.
On January 26, 2020, the world came to a halt at the news of his death. He and his daughter were on their way to a basketball tournament, and he was to coach her team.
This was around the time he chose to spend more time with his family and bond with his girl over their passion for basketball. That made it even more painful.
Young Bryant loved talking about her dad, “It’s bittersweet, but I enjoy talking about him more than it’s sad for me.” She also revealed he was a great girl’s dad.
We wish the Bryant family all the best in their future endeavors.