Fans are remembering Kobe Bryant and celebrating his dedication to fatherhood.
On Monday night, ESPN’s Elle Duncan shared a tribute to the late NBA legend based on her own experience meeting him several years ago.
“I saw him and I thought, Oh my gosh, that’s Kobe. I’ve gotta get a picture for the ‘gram. I didn’t get it for a few minutes because, as I approached him, he immediately commented on my rather large, eight-month pregnant belly,” Duncan recalled.
“‘A girl,’ I said and then he high-fives me: ‘Girls are the best.’ I asked him for advice on raising girls seeing as though he quite famously had three at the time and he said, ‘Just be grateful that you’ve been given that gift because girls are amazing.’”
Duncan continued, “He said that his wife Vanessa really wanted to try again for a boy but was sort of jokingly concerned that it would be another girl. I was like, ‘Four girls, are you joking? Like, what would you think? How would you feel?’ And without hesitation he said, ‘I would have five more girls if I could. I’m a girl dad.’”
Bryant was also completely dedicated to his daughters’ pursuit of sports.
“When it came to sports, he said that his oldest daughter was an accomplished volleyball player and that the youngest was a toddler, so TBD,” Duncan recalled. “But that middle one, he said, ‘was a monster. She’s a beast. She’s better than I was at her age. She’s got it.’ That middle one, of course, was Gigi.
“When I reflect on this tragedy and that half an hour that I spent with Kobe Bryant two years ago. I suppose that the only small source of comfort for me is knowing that he died doing what he loved the most: being a dad, being a girl dad.”
Bryant died Sunday in a helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others.