On the 2nd anniversary of the helicopter crash that ended the lives of nine people including the legendary Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were honored with a bronze statue at the crash site.
The NBA Hall of Famer and loving father of four, with his 13-year-old Gianna, were honored with a statue at the site of the disheartening tragedy in Calabasas, Los Angeles.
‘Heroes come and go, but stories live on,’ said the sculptor Dan Medina, who also included the names of the other seven victims on a plaque at the foot of the statue.
With his left arm around Gianna’s shoulder, Kobe looks adoringly down at her, who was just
13 years old at the time of her death.
She’s shown holding a basketball and staring up at her father, who was 6″6′ tall in real life.
Both father and daughter are dressed in their respective basketball uniforms: Kobe in his Lakers No. 24 jersey, his second team number after starting his career donning a jersey of No. 8.
Medina carried the sculpture to the crash site this morning, but it will only be there for the rest of the day. Medina told TMZ Sports that he plans to keep it on display every anniversary of the tragedy, as well as on Bryant’s birthday.
Flowers and mementos were offered in front of the statue by dozens of people paying their respects to the basketball great and the victims of the tragedy.
Medina told TMZ Sports that he’s been working on a life-size version of the same monument, which is 90 percent finished and would stand at 6-foot and 7-inches tall.
‘I think we need something like this to be installed on a permanent basis. It hasn’t been done yet and this is maybe a catalyst for that,’ he said. ‘But I’m willing to donate whatever’s here at no cost. That’s the hope, to find a way to have it permanently installed.’
‘I believed they deserved more,’ he added, after visiting the spot recently and seeing an empty space with a “few rocks and dead flowers.” Not just Kobe and Gigi, but all the people who died that day.’
Bryant was much more than a basketball player, according to Medina, who praised him as an “intellect,” a musician, and a father.
‘Every book he read, he made a point to contact the author. He spoke many languages, he learned how to play the piano on his own,’ Medina said.