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Vanessa Bryant Grieves Daughter Gigi's Would-Be 8th Grade Graduation Day

By Alyssa McCraw

Vanessa Bryant's daughter was supposed graduate from 8th grade today. Gianna "Gigi" Bryant was tragically killed in the same January helicopter crash that took the life of her father, NBA legend Kobe Bryant. She was 13 when she died.

Kobe and wife Vanessa have three children in addition to Gigi, all girls: Natalia Diamante (17), Bianka Belle (3), and Capri Kobe (whose first birthday is later this month).

Vanessa shared a sobering photo to her Instagram account on Friday to commemorate what should have been a celebratory day.

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'I'm So Proud Of You'

An envelope containing Gigi Bryant's 8th grade diploma is surrounded by a Lei necklace
Vanessa Bryant | Instagram

Vanessa's photo looked to be of an envelope containing her late daughter's 8th grade diploma. Gigi's full name, Gianna Maria-Onoré Bryant, was written beautifully in cursive. It was surrounded with a white Hawaiian Lei necklace, a somewhat common accessory worn during west coast graduation ceremonies.

"Congratulations on your 8th grade graduation Gigi. I love you forever and always. I’m so proud of you. ❤️, Mommy #classof2020," Vanessa wrote in the caption.

The June 5th post raked in almost 1 million likes in just three hours, but Vanessa has deactivated all Instagram comments.

School Retires Gianna's Jersey Number

Gigi Bryant's jersey retirement ceremony at Harbor Day School, where she would have graduated from 8th grade
Vanessa Bryant | Instagram

This wasn't the first time Gigi's Harbor Day School has honored her memory.

The school, located just outside of Newport Beach, California, retired her basketball jersey number in early February.

"My Gianna," Vanessa said in one post. "God I miss you. I’ve been so lucky to have woken up to see your gorgeous face and amazing smile for 13 years. Wish it would’ve been until my last breath. Mommy loves you to the moon and back. Infinity plus 1. #2 #Mambacita #GigiBryant ❤️"

Gigi Would Have Just Turned 14

Gigi Bryant
Vanessa Bryant | Instagram

Vanessa recently shared a heartfelt message on what would have been Gigi's 14th birthday:

"Happy 14th Birthday to my sweet baby girl, Gianna. Mommy loves you more than I can ever show you. You are part of MY SOUL forever. I miss you so much everyday. I wish I could wake up and have you here with me. I miss your smile, your hugs and your giggles. I miss EVERYTHING about YOU, Gigi. I LOVE YOU so much!!!!!!! ❤️🎉🎂🎉❤️"

Also since the tragedy, Vanessa has faced her first Valentine's Day, wedding anniversary, birthday, and Mother's Day without her loving husband and daughter.

Vanessa Shuts Down #AllLivesMatter Troll After George Floyd's Death

Vanessa Bryant & Gigi Bryant
Vanessa Bryant | Instagram

Vanessa's Instagram comments were still active on Sunday, when she spoke on the May 25th murder of George Floyd.

Her photo of husband Kobe wearing a shirt that said "I CAN'T BREATHE" was in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

A troll in the comments said, "Respect all you say and do but #alllivesmatter." 38-year-old Vanessa addressed him with some perspective:

"Respectfully, I must say that when someone says #alllivesmatter when someone says #blacklivesmatter is like saying that all homes matter when 1 particular home in the neighborhood is being affected and burning down. Wouldn't we run and help our fellow neighbor? See the difference? All love," she wrote on May 31st.

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