During a tribute ceremony at TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, Natalia Bryant honored her late father Kobe Bryant.
“While most people knew him as a basketball player or a storyteller, I got to know and love him as my dad,” Natalia remembered. “And let me tell you, he is the MVP of girl dads, to say the least.”
Natalia joined her mother Vanessa Bryant and two sisters, Bianka and Capri, as they unveiled Kobe’s handprints and footprints permanently displayed at the historic venue. The 20-year-old reflected on her father’s legacy and commitment to his family.
“One may wonder why I developed such a fondness for movies like ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Harry Potter,’ the complete Marvel universe and ‘Goonies,’ amongst many others,” she said. “Well, the reason behind it is that I watched all of these movies with my dad. And each of those memories I will never forget. ”
She added, “He is the reason I am pursuing film in college. And he is the reason film has inspired me to create memories like ours for other people to even bring more fathers and daughters together like us. This all brings me to this moment now, which makes honoring my dad here 10 times more special and personal to me in so many ways.” Vanessa is currently a sophomore at the University of Southern California and pursuing a degree in film.
“It is only fitting that my dad, Kobe Bryant, is the very first athlete to get their hand and footprints displayed here, in the city of Los Angeles,” continued Bryant. “This day symbolizes the impact that he has had on a city that he loved and cared for so deeply. This also embraces the Mamba Mentality and competitiveness at being the first ever athlete to ever accomplish this.”
The tribute took place more than three years after Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others, died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas. Last month, Los Angeles County agreed to pay Vanessa Bryant and her three daughters a $28.85 million settlement in exchange for ending a lawsuit over the sharing of graphic photos taken at the scene of the tragedy.