Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, were among those killed in a tragic helicopter crash over the weekend.
Kobe's accomplishments during his 20-year career speak for themselves, but Gianna was a basketball player herself, one who had dreams of carrying on her father's basketball legacy by playing at the University of Connecticut and in the WNBA. She was seen taking in three NBA games with Kobe this season, two of them featuring the Atlanta Hawks.
Hawks point guard Trae Young being her favourite player might have had something to do with that.
Young mentioned in a tweet on Sunday that Gianna told him that he was her favourite player to watch when they met this season. He also shared photos from that meeting.
...This S*** can't be real... this the first moment I was able to meet Gianna Maria, she's been to only 3 games this year... 2 of them were mine... She told me I was her favorite player to watch🙏🏽 I can't believe this😢😭- Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) January 26, 2020
Rest Easy Gigi❤️ pic.twitter.com/IfDrE9Gjlv
Young posted another tweet earlier in the day thanking Kobe for "all the lessons" and "all the advice" he gave.
All the Lessons- Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) January 26, 2020
All the Advice
Every word you ever told me...
Will stick with me forever
Thank You Kobe🙏🏽❤️ pic.twitter.com/WPCdHg3iyt
Young paid tribute to Kobe on Sunday by wearing No. 8 to start the game. He went on to score 45 points on 13-for-24 shooting from the field while dishing out 14 assists in a win over the Washington Wizards. As Kevin Keneely of Cox Media Group noted, the last player to post those numbers against the Wizards was none other than Kobe.
"Kobe was with me tonight," Young said after the game.
Bryant famously scored 81 points in a single game. On Sunday, Young shot 81% from the free throw line. Perhaps yet one more subtle way that Bryant was looking over Young's shoulder that night.
The views expressed here do not represent those of the NBA or its clubs.