With youngest Bianka just over a year at the time, Duncan was curious whether he and Vanessa Bryant had more plans to expand. “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,” she explained. “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.'”

And those girls were his princesses, each with a special talent he was excited to foster and grow. “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 added. “But that middle one, he said, ‘That middle one 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.”

Indeed, on that fateful Sunday morning, Kobe and Gigi—and their seven fellow passengers—were headed to his Mamba Academy, where his daughter and her teammates were set to compete in a basketball tournament. 

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