04:13 GMT28 February 2020
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    A helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on 26 January, killed American NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria-Onore, along with seven other people, while on their way to a basketball game.

    Vanessa Bryant, wife of the deceased sports star, opened up publicly for the first time following the tragic death of her husband and daughter in a helicopter crash on Sunday. She posted a photo of the whole family to gather on Instagram, saying that members of the family “wish they were here with us forever”.

    “We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon. I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way,”  Bryant wrote.
    View this post on Instagram

    My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately. There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon. I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever. Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality. To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org. To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org. Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me. #Mamba #Mambacita #GirlsDad #DaddysGirls #Family ❤️

    A post shared by Vanessa Bryant 🦋 (@vanessabryant) on


    Bryant, alongside her three other daughters, observed that their love for Kobe and Gianna is “endless” and “immeasurable”, expressing her deepest wish to “hug them, kiss them and bless them”.

    “Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality,” the 37-year-old mother and wife said, addressing supporters of the late NBA superstar.
    Originally from a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Kobe Bryant was an 18-time NBA All-Star, five-time NBA champion and two-time Olympic champion. He spent his entire career with the Los Angeles Lakers, before retiring in 2016.

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