By Michael Kaplan
New York Post
Other “girl dads” are sharing how Kobe Bryant inspired them to be supportive dads to their
daughters. Fathers are taking time to honor their relationships with their daughters in memory of the ultimate “girl dad,” Kobe Bryant.
The trend started with ESPN anchor Elle Duncan sharing a memory of Bryant, 41, who died Sunday in a helicopter crash, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
On the SportsCenter segment Monday night, the anchor recalled an encounter she had with Bryant when she was pregnant with her daughter. When she told Bryant she was expecting a girl, he responded with a high-five and told her, “Just be grateful that you’ve been given that gift because girls are amazing.”
Duncan asked Bryant how he and his wife would feel about having a fourth girl. She remembered that he replied, “I would have five more girls if I could. I’m a girl dad.”
Soon after, the #GirlDad hashtag went viral, with other parents sharing how their daughters changed their lives. It’s among the touching tributes fans are sharing about Bryant, who paved the way for dads to lift up their daughters’ athletic abilities.
Kobe Bryant changed the game for dads in sports
Many of the posts bust the myth that fathers do not feel complete until they are parents to sons. As user Ira Schoffel posted, “After our 1st, 2nd and 3rd daughters, so many people would come up and say, ‘Are you gonna try again for a boy?’ ” After advising against making that boneheaded comment, he added, “I swear I wouldn’t want it any other way. These 3 and their mom are so much more than I deserve. #GirlDad”
User Bill Powell shared photos of himself alongside his daughter, writing, “Mara and I at our first NBA game and on the Metro home from seeing the champion Nats. #girldad.”
@Thedream_1992 posted a photo with the comment, “Every #24 seconds is precious. The situation definitely has me thinking about the way I interact with my little one. #girldad”
Shannon Brewer got it right when he wrote, “My ladies make my world go around… This is what keeps me going, grinding and living… #girldad”
As a proud #girldad myself, I say amen to that statement.
Mr. and Mrs. Kobe Bryant and family
The five-time NBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medallist had four children with wife Vanessa, 37, a former model and music video star from Los Angeles.
She met Kobe on the set of a music video when she was 17 and still at high school.
The couple were parents to four daughters. They are:
Natalia, born in January 2003
Gianna, born in May 2006
Bianka, born in December 2016
Capri Kobe, born in June 2019
Bryant and his wife Vanessa met in November 1999 when he was 21 and she was 17. They married in April 2001.
Bryant shared a special bond with Gianna, who he called Gigi, as she was his basketball protégé. In 2018, Bryant appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and talked about coaching her basketball team. He said that Gianna “for sure” wanted to play for the WNBA. On Sunday, the helicopter was headed to Gianna’s basketball game in which Bryant was coaching.