The 13-year-old definitely left her mark on Harbor Day School. Students and faculty gathered to say their final goodbyes.
It's only been a couple of weeks since the world lost Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant. However, many are still unable to grapple with the loss. As a way to bid farewell to the basketball legend's daughter, her school, Harbor Day School in Newport Beach, California, held an emotional ceremony. During the ceremony, the school faculty and student body gathered to say their final goodbyes and retire Gianna's No. 2 basketball jersey, Today.com reports. Several individuals, including teachers and students, made moving remarks at the ceremony. Mother Vanessa Bryant also took to Instagram to post about the event.
On Wednesday night, Harbor Day School students and staff gathered in the school gymnasium to bid farewell. Her basketball jersey, in the school's colors, was framed and displayed on an easel. A photo of the 13-year-old was displayed next to the podium, at which several individuals made speeches to honor Gianna's memory. They all spoke about how the young teen was a great leader and had always been a joy to be around. Joshua Parks, one of the school's basketball coaches, stated, "She definitely represented the ‘Mamba Mentality’ every time she stepped on the floor." He added that she was one of the fiercest competitors he had ever seen.
Numerous students and faculty members took special note of Gianna's humility. One would assume that the teen daughter of an iconic athlete would have an attitude, but Gianna, they explained, was incredibly humble and down to earth. "She never came to school and bragged about anything," her former school adviser and music teacher Yunga Webb said in her speech. "She was one of the most humble people I’ve ever known. She didn’t need to brag, just needed to be a light wherever she stood. She elevated the eighth-grade class. She makes us better — she made us better and she makes us better."
The teacher added that they still honor her life every morning while taking roll call. Her classmates, as they cope with the grief of loss, are not ready to forget her just yet. Webb shared, "We [still] call her name. And when we call her name, I hear 40-plus kids say ‘here.' In honor of her. Because she’s always with us." Evidently, the 13-year-old has left her mark on her school. Following the ceremony, mother Vanessa took to Instagram to share photos and video clips of the emotional evening. Posting a photo of Gianna's now-retired jersey, the grieving mother wrote, "My Gigi. I love you! I miss you. You’ve taught us all that no act of kindness is ever too small. Mommy is still and will ALWAYS be so proud of you, mamacita." Cue all the tears.