Tributes continue to pour in for Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, two days after they died in a helicopter crash that also claimed the lives of seven others. People all over the world are sharing Kobe stories, whether they knew the NBA legend personally or not. On Monday night's SportsCenter, ESPN anchor Elle Duncan told her viewers about the only time she met Bryant back in 2018.
Duncan approached Bryant backstage at an ESPN event when she was 8 months pregnant. "How are you? How close are you? What are you having?" Bryant excitedly asked her. When she replied that she was having a girl, he gave her a high five and said, "Girls are the best."
"I asked him for advice on raising girls... and he said, 'Just be grateful that you've been given that gift because girls are amazing,'" Duncan recalled. She asked Bryant, then only a father of three, if he wanted more children.
"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. I was like, 'Four girls, are you joking? What would you think, how would you feel?'" Duncan remembered.
"Without hesitation, he said, 'I would have five more girls if I could. I'm a girl dad,'" she shared.
"When it came to sports, [Kobe] said that his oldest daughter was an accomplished volleyball player, and that the youngest was a toddler so TBD. 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,'" Duncan said. "That middle one, of course, was Gigi."
"When I reflect on this tragedy," Duncan tearfully concluded, "I suppose that the only small source of comfort for me is knowing that he died doing what he loved the most: being a dad. Being a girl dad."
Duncan's story quickly went viral.
"The last time I remember John crying, aside from this week, was when Luna wrapped her little finger around his at the hospital when she was born," Chrissy Teigen tweeted. "There really is something magical about girls and their dads. Thank you, @elleduncanESPN."
Soon, #GirlDad started to trend and if you want something to brighten up your day, this hashtag will do it.
As the oldest girl of a #girldad - 6 girls, no boys - I always find it interesting (& unintentionally backhanded) when people find out my dad has all girls. Their response is usually, “omg your poor dad!”
This story about Kobe illustrates what a blessing it is to be a girl dad♥️ https://t.co/2BKMCVpEHt
— Kamie Crawford (@TheRealKamie) January 28, 2020
— J.T. Yuodis,PIO (@PIOYuodis37) January 28, 2020
Coming from a family of 4 daughters constantly hearing “your poor dad” or “your dad probably wanted a boy” it warms my heart to see #girldad trending & knowing the reason why 💛💜💛💜
— 🦋 (@Iamkatsand) January 28, 2020
— Will Jawando (@willjawando) January 28, 2020
— kita cookie (@Kitacookie) January 28, 2020
— Taelor & Sydni Scott (@TaeAndSyd) January 28, 2020
Had to update the picture for #GirlDad trending.
I always thought I wanted a boy. 20 years of playing and coaching male sports was a large reason. Now that I have a girl, I just can't imagine anything else. I am very, very lucky. #ScarJacks pic.twitter.com/xWrAiFZ4bS
— Cole Jackson (@ColeJacksonRSR) January 28, 2020
— Jake Tanner (@xJatmanx) January 28, 2020
— Rance the Royal 🧢 (@RanceRob) January 28, 2020
— OneGoodDad (He, Him, Sexiest Man Alive) (@TheJasonGreene) January 28, 2020
So I just found out what a #girldad is because of this #. And aparently I’m a #girldad. I’ve been blessed with 3 amazing and unique girls who will change the world around them. I grew up with 3 sisters and I wouldn’t trade any of it. My girls are my life. pic.twitter.com/fqFJhHtnrE
— Matt Wanless (@walnut138) January 28, 2020
— Jesse Kinos-Goodin (@JesseKG) January 28, 2020
On Tuesday, Duncan tweeted that she's "so moved by the outpouring of support behind my story about Kobe. And I love that #girldad is trending..."
I’m so moved by the outpouring of support behind my story about Kobe. And I love that #girldad is trending.. so for all those proud fathers who still have their girls to love on can you flood my timeline with pics of you and your flock. Honestly I need it as much as anyone rt now
— Elle Duncan (@elleduncanESPN) January 28, 2020
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