NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna “Gigi” Bryant have been honored on the second anniversary of their death by a bronze sculpture temporarily erected at the helicopter crash site where they died.
The bronze statue created by Dan Medina depicts Kobe and Gigi wearing basketball uniforms, staring at each other lovingly as Gigi holds her dad’s hand as it rests on her shoulder. The sculptor had transported the 150-pound statue to its current home by himself.
Medina was at the death site to greet fans who had made the 2.1km hike to pay their respects to the sports legend. Medina also told Winton that he envisions the memorial remaining there temporarily.
“You come up here, and it is kind of emotional,” he said. “The flowers, the jerseys, the hats blow away, and I think we need something more permanent.”
He said, “This is all on my own, no one asked me to do it.”
“On this day, the second anniversary of the accident, I decided to bring it up from sunrise to sunset and create a bit of a healing process for fans.”
On the statute’s steel pedestal are engraved the names of all nine victims in the early morning crash which occurred on Jan 26, 2020. It also includes Bryant’s famous quote, “Heroes come and go, but legends are forever.”
Kobe and Gianna Bryant and six others, including Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, and Christina Mauser, were traveling to Mamba Sports Academy when the helicopter went down in a Calabasas hillside, killing the eight passengers and pilot Ara Zobayan.