#GirlDad goes viral after ESPN anchor Elle Duncan's emotional Kobe Bryant tribute

Taryn Ryder
·6 min read
Proud "girl dad" Kobe Bryant shares a moment with daughter Bianka Bella.
Proud "girl dad" Kobe Bryant shares a moment with daughter Bianka Bella. (Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

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.

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..."

Read more from Yahoo Entertainment:

Want daily pop culture news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Entertainment & Lifestyle’s newsletter.