The WNBA today introduced the Kobe & Gigi Bryant WNBA Advocacy Award, which will recognize an individual or group who has made significant contributions to the visibility, perception and advancement of women's and girls' basketball at all levels.
After the tribute, Engelbert announced the first pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft - Oregon's Sabrina Ionescu.
Much like her speech at 'A Celebration of Life, ' Bryant spoke eloquently about her daughter and husband in a way that very few could given the circumstances.More news: Seattle's CHOP zone becoming increasingly fractured
Ionescu was mentored by basketball legend Bryant, who was killed in a helicopter crash in January. The former OR star called Kobe a "mentor" and became a role model for the three young players by helping with their practices and workouts. "All I know is she caught my heart and I just knew that she was the one".
"It would have been a dream come true for her [Gigi]", Vanessa said in a video played during the draft pick, which aired on ESPN. "So thank you, thank you for honoring my little girl".
The WNBA and the Bryant family will announce the inaugural recipient during NBA All-Star 2021 in Indianapolis.More news: Around the Big 12: What's happening at Kansas State
Bryant's dedication to the women's game was immeasurable.
Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna will be honored with an annual award by the WNBA. Just one day after their daughter Gigi was inducted into the WNBA as an honorary member, Vanessa is sharing old photos and videos of Kobe on what would have been their 19th wedding anniversary.
"I think it was a very attractive thing that the WNBA did to be able to draft those three girls", Ionescu said.More news: Lululemon to buy home fitness start-up Mirror for US$500 million
The posts have since led to an outpouring of support for Vanessa, which already have about 4 million likes.