NEW YORK – The WNBA is continuing the basketball legacy of Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gigi Bryant. The league announced the Kobe & Gigi Bryant WNBA Advocacy Award on Friday, April 17, which will recognize an individual or group who has made significant contributions to the visibility, perception and advancement of women’s and girls’ basketball at all levels.
The new annual award will honor the elder Bryant, a staunch supporter of the WNBA and women’s basketball, and his daughter Gianna (also known as Gigi), who loved the game of basketball and aspired to reach the pinnacle of the sport like her father. Kobe and Gigi Bryant tragically perished, along with seven others, in a helicopter crash earlier this year.
“Kobe was an incredible champion of women’s basketball and Gianna shared his passion and dedication to our game,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert. “The Kobe & Gigi Bryant WNBA Advocacy Award will honor their legacy and reflect Kobe’s commitment to mentoring the next generation of players, promoting the game and giving back to the community.”
The recipient of the Kobe & Gigi Bryant WNBA Advocacy Award will be a tireless advocate for women’s basketball and foster the highest levels of leadership. The award will honor advocates and influencers who use their time, talent and platform to raise awareness for the game.
The WNBA and the Bryant family will announce the inaugural recipient during NBA All-Star 2021 in Indianapolis. Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, will play a large role in determining the honoree and present the award each year at NBA All-Star.
The Kobe & Gigi Bryant WNBA Advocacy Award will include a charitable component that highlights Kobe’s legacy as a coach and mentor and Gigi’s inspirational, relentless commitment to playing at the highest levels of the game. Additional details will be announced at a later date.
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