Vanessa Bryant and Kobe Bryant

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Kobe Bryant will always be in Vanessa Bryants heart. The 41-year-old commemorated what would have been their 23rd wedding anniversary in an Instagram tribute on Thursday, April 18. While sharing a screenshot of several scrapbook pictures, Vanessa captioned her post, “Happy anniversary @kobebryant #23.”

Countless celebrities commented on Vanessa’s post, but the most notable ones were Vanessa and Kobe’s daughter Natalia Bryant. She simply commented three red heart emojis.

Kobe and Vanessa first met when she was 17 and he was 20. After going to Disneyland for their first official date, the pair fell in love and eventually tied the knot in 2001 after Vanessa had turned 18.

In addition to Natalia, 21, Kobe and Vanessa also share daughters Bianka, Capri and the late Gianna Bryant.

Kobe Bryant, Vanessa Bryant and their daughters
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Vanessa’s sweet post comes four years after Kobe and Gianna died in a helicopter crash in January 2020. That day, major fog was reported, causing the helicopter to crash into a mountain in Calabasas, California. All nine people on board were killed.

The following month, a memorial was held for Kobe and Gianna. Vanessa spoke about both, describing her late husband as “a gentleman” who was “truly the romantic one in [their] relationship.”

“Kobe and I have been together since I was 17-and-a-half years old,” Vanessa said in her emotional February 2020 speech. “I was his first girlfriend, his first love, his wife, his best friend, his confidant and his protector. He was the most amazing husband. Kobe loved me more than I could ever express or put into words. … He was truly the romantic one in our relationship. I looked forward to Valentine’s Day and our anniversaries every year. He planned special anniversary trips and a special traditional gift for every year of our marriage.”

As for Gianna — whom Vanessa called “Gigi” — her mother noted that she “would’ve most likely become the best player in the WNBA.”

“She would’ve made a huge difference for women’s basketball,” Vanessa continued at the time. “Gigi was motivated to change the way everyone viewed women in sports. She wrote papers in school defending women and wrote about how the unequal pay difference for the NBA and WNBA leagues wasn’t fair. And I truly feel she made positive change for the WNBA players now, because they knew Gigi’s goal was to eventually play in the WNBA. … I am still so proud of Gianna, and she was kind to everybody she met for the 13 years she was here on Earth.”

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