The University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team honored Gianna Bryant at a game Monday night, the day after she and her father
Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash.
Gianna, who was 13 when she died, had aspired to play for the NCAA team, and attended several UConn Huskies games with her dad, who
once said she was “hellbent” on attending the college.
In the wake of the tragic accident in Calabasas, California, that killed the pair and seven other people on Sunday, the UConn women’s team paid tribute to Gianna before their game against Team USA.
“Mambacita is forever a Husky,” they wrote, using the name
Bryant had planned for his daughter to carry on his “Black Mamba” legacy on the court.
They set aside a No. 2 jersey ― the number Gianna wore ― on a courtside seat.
In August, Bryant had shared images of his daughter’s team, the Mambas, at a training session with some UConn players.
In a 2018 interview, Bryant said his daughter idolized Chicago Sky player Gabby Williams, who was drafted to the WNBA after attending UConn.
“My daughter loves Gabby Williams, absolutely loves Gabby, loves [all of them],” Bryant said, according to the
Hartford Courant. “She watches their interviews, watches how they play and learns — not just in wins, but in tough losses, how they conduct themselves. It’s great, as a parent, to be able to see my daughter pull inspiration from them.”
Bryant was known for his vocal support of not only his daughter’s budding basketball prowess but also women’s leagues in the sport. The
WNBA released a statement honoring him for his “passion for the WNBA and women’s basketball along with his passion for helping young girls and boys follow their dreams.”
Victims Of Helicopter Crash Identified: Kobe Bryant On Board With Local Coaches, Children Kobe Bryant To Be Honored On A Time Magazine Cover Los Angeles Lakers' Tuesday Game Postponed Following Kobe Bryant's Death Snoop Dogg Snoop Dogg wears a Lakers sweatsuit during a performance in Detroit on Jan. 26. Fans mourning in Los Angeles Fans seen paying homage to Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles on Jan. 26. Josh Hart Josh Hart of the New Orleans Pelicans wears sneakers dedicated to Kobe Bryant during a game against the Boston Celtics in New Orleans on Jan. 26. Bryant's Lakers jerseys were Nos. 8 and 24. His daughter Gianna's number was 2. Priyanka Chopra Priyanka Chopra with a 24 written on her nails in honor of Kobe Bryant at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Jan. 26. Darrin Dnote Milton Darrin Dnote Milton with his car, the Laker Bug, at a vigil for Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles on Jan. 26. Anfernee Simons Anfernee Simons of the Portland Trail Blazers wearing sneakers dedicated to Kobe Bryant during a game against the Indiana Pacers on Jan. 26. P.J. Tucker P.J. Tucker of the Houston Rockets wears sneakers decorated in honor of Kobe Bryant during a game against the Denver Nuggets on Jan. 26. New York Knicks' Marcus Morris Sr. Marcus Morris Sr. of the New York Knicks wearing sneakers in honor of Kobe Bryant at a game against the Brooklyn Nets on Jan. 26. Fan at the Los Angeles Clippers vs. Orlando Magic Game A fan in a Kobe Bryant jersey at the Los Angeles Clippers versus Orlando Magic game in Florida on Jan. 26. Lonzo Ball Lonzo Ball of the New Orleans Pelicans wears sneakers dedicated to Kobe Bryant during a game against the Boston Celtics on Jan. 26. Montrezl Harrell Montrezl Harrell of the Los Angeles Clippers wears sneakers dedicated to Kobe Bryant during a game against the Orlando Magic on Jan. 26. Jaxson Hayes Jaxson Hayes of the New Orleans Pelicans wears sneakers dedicated to Kobe Bryant, who nicknamed himself the Black Mamba, during a game against the Boston Celtics on Jan. 26. Nick Kyrgios Nick Kyrgios warms up in a Kobe Bryant jersey during the Australian Open on Jan. 27. Catherine McNally Catherine McNally's sneakers dedicated to Kobe Bryant at the Australian Open on Jan. 27. A Spectator at the Australian Open A spectator at the Australian Open seen wearing a Kobe Bryant jersey on Jan. 27. Coco Gauff Coco Gauff's sneakers dedicated to Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi during the Australian Open on Jan. 27. Spectators at the Australian Open A spectator at the Australian Open seen wearing a Kobe Bryant jersey on Jan. 27. Love HuffPost? Become a founding member of HuffPost Plus today. This article originally appeared on HuffPost.