20,000 attend Kobe Bryant memorial
by Harvest Prude
Posted 2/25/20, 11:13 am
Friends, family, and Lakers fans gathered Monday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles to remember former NBA superstar Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. The two died Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash that killed all nine people on board. Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, filed a lawsuit Monday against the owner and operator of the helicopter, arguing the pilot should not have flown in the cloudy conditions that day.
Who spoke at the memorial service? Vanessa Bryant paid tribute to her husband of 19 years: “I couldn’t see him as a celebrity, nor just an incredible basketball player. He was my sweet husband and the beautiful father of our children.” She said she knew Gianna “was a daddy’s girl, but I know she loved her mama.” Former teammate Shaquille O’Neal, fellow NBA superstar Michael Jordan, and WNBA player Diana Taurasi also spoke. Christina Aguilera sang “Ave Maria,” Alicia Keys performed Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata,” and Beyoncé opened the ceremony by singing her songs “XO” and “Halo.”
Dig deeper: Read Mary Jackson’s report in Relations on the importance of “girl dads” like Bryant.
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Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.