Earlier this year in March, Kobe Bryant‘s widow, Vanessa, and Nike renewed the partnership between the parties that extended the relationship between the deceased basketball player and the sneaker giant. It was reported then that the next release would be the Kobe 6 Protro “Mambacita Sweet 16” that would be in honor of their daughter, Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, who died alongside her father in a helicopter crash that took the lives of seven other people. The sneaker was released this week on the celebration of her birthday, May 1.
The latest Kobe release, the Kobe 6 Protro “Mambacita Sweet 16,” is a colorway that symbolizes Gigi Bryant’s impact on basketball and represents her goal to create a better, more inclusive future for the game of basketball. All profits from the sale of the latest shoe will benefit the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation.
In what would have been her “sweet sixteen”, Vanessa acknowledged her daughter and the release of the sneakers in an Instagram post.
“I’m so happy with the way these Mambacita shoes came out in honor of my daughter, Gigi. Thank you @nike #Mambacita #2 #Forever #BabyGirl ❤️ #16 #SweetSixteen #5106 ❤️ #PlayGigisWay I love you Gigi! ❤️”
In a note included with photos on the post, Vanessa wrote, “The ‘Mambacita Sweet 16’ is inspired by her resilient spirit and the love she had, not only for the game, but for her family, friends and community. Gigi continues to touch so many people around the world. Part of her legacy is about building a better future for all girls and women in sport, one step at a time. Playing Gigi’s way.”
The sneaker sold out in two minutes.
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Gianna, who was 13 at the time, died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California., along with her 41-year-old father, Kobe, and seven other people on Jan. 26, 2020.