ESPN’s Elle Duncan highlighted just how special the relationship Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna was by sharing a beautiful tribute on SportsCenter.
The Kobe story Elle Duncan shared on Sportscenter was so heartfelt and heartbreaking, more people need to see it.— Gian Cruz (@gianorama) January 28, 2020
"The only small source of comfort for me, is knowing that he died doing what he loved the most: being a dad. Being a girl dad."@elleduncanESPN #RIPGigi #RIPKobe pic.twitter.com/a2GpkY2Eb4
Duncan met Kobe backstage at an ESPN event in New York and went up to the Lakers legend to ask for a photo.
“As I approached him, he immediately commented on my rather large, eight-month pregnant belly. ‘How are you? How close are you? What are you having,’” Kobe said.
Duncan replied that she was having a girl and Bryant high-fived her.
“Girls are the best,” Kobe said.
Duncan asked Bryant for advice on raising girls, as Kobe had three at the time.
“He said, ‘Just be grateful that you’ve been given that gift, because girls are amazing.’ His third daughter, Bianca, was about a year-and-a-half old at the time, so I asked if he wanted more children and he said that his wife Vanessa really wanted to try again for a boy, but was jokingly concerned that it would be another girl. I was like, ‘Four girls, are you joking, what would you think, how would you feel? Without hesitation, he said, ‘I would have five more girls if I could. I’m a girl dad.’”
“When it came to sports, he said that his oldest daughter was an accomplished volleyball player and the youngest was a toddler, so TBD. But that middle one, he said, that middle one was a monster — she’s a beast. She’s better than I was at her age. She’s got it,” Duncan recalls.
That middle daughter was GiGi, who was a star basketball player in her own right, died alongside Kobe on Sunday.
“When I reflect on this tragedy and that half an hour that I spent with Kobe Bryant two years ago, I suppose the only small source of comfort for me is knowing that he died doing what he loved the most — being a dad. Being a girl dad.”
After the video of Duncan’s words went viral, the hashtag #GirlDad was trending on Twitter, with fathers sharing stories of just how much their daughters mean to them.
Please if you’re feeling any kind of way, scroll through this feed and look at all these PROUD #girldad ‘s .. this is trending nationwide because there’s no greater or more significant relationship than that of a dad and his daughter(s) .. i hope it eases your blues. pic.twitter.com/DbUQVbVO22— Elle Duncan (@elleduncanESPN) January 28, 2020