Vanessa Bryant Explains Why Gianna Wore A No. 2 Jersey

Melissa Rohlin

Vanessa Bryant explained why her daughter Gianna chose to wear a No. 2 jersey in an Instagram post on Monday. 

After professional women's soccer player Sydney Leroux Dwyer and her husband Dom gifted Vanessa a beautiful piece of artwork of Kobe and Gianna in their jerseys with angel wings, Vanessa thanked Sydney and said that she was a huge inspiration to her daughter. 

"For those that don’t know- Gigi wore #2 as a soccer player since it’s @sydneyleroux’s number and Gigi kept her number as a baller," Vanessa wrote. "Syd has a #2 tattoo in Gigi’s Jersey font to honor my baby). Love you always @sydneyleroux ❤️."

Sydney, an Olympic gold medalist, currently plays for the Orlando Pride in the National Women's Soccer League. 

After Kobe and Gianna died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 as they were headed to the Mamba Sports Academy, where Kobe was going to coach Gianna in a youth basketball game, Sydney posted a heartfelt message on Instagram. 

"Gigi you were a star," she wrote. "Your dad told me that you were going to be better than he was. You had the gift no matter what you were playing. I know you’ll be looking down on your mom and your sisters with your big smile while shooting hoops with your dad, doing what you both love. 2 will always be ours.

"Kobe - thank you for allowing me in to your beautiful family. Thank you for believing in me. Being there for me during the good times and the tough ones. For your crazy book recommendations and your quotes. For helping me write. For teaching me to never soften for anybody. For teaching me about the darkness and the light and the villains becoming the heroes. I won’t forget any of it. I’ll miss you."

Kobe and Gianna's public memorial was held at Staples Center on Feb. 24, in honor of Gianna's No. 2 jersey and Kobe's No. 24 jersey. 

And during the 2020 NBA All-Star Game in Chicago in February, Team LeBron wore No. 2 jerseys in honor of Gianna, while Team Giannis wore No. 24 for Kobe.