2020 WNBA Draft: Gianna Bryant to be announced as an honorary draft pick

In a tribute to the dreams of Gianna Bryant, the WNBA is paying tribute the late daughter of Kobe Bryant by making her an honorary draft pick in this year’s class, according to an Instagram post from Vanessa Bryant. Following his retirement from the NBA, Kobe dedicated much of his time to helping Gianna, who notably took after her father’s competitive spirit and drive, realize her personal hoop dreams.

Vanessa posted a short promo clip of Friday’s draft with a caption that included Gianna and two other people who died in the late January helicopter crash.

Kobe and Gianna were on their way to a basketball tournament when the helicopter they were traveling on crashed into a mountain in Calabasas, Calif. on Jan. 26. Everyone on board, including two of Gianna’s teammates, their parents and the pilot were killed.

Since then, those in the basketball community have shown an outpouring of support and tributes towards not just Kobe, but also his daughter. Gigi was featured heavily in the Staples Center tribute to Kobe, the UConn Huskies — where she wanted to play college ball — created a tribute jersey in her honor, and a seat was reserved with her jersey next to Kobe’s on empty seats in the first night the Lakers played since their deaths.

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