The helicopter crash that claimed the lives of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter, Gianna, and seven others have put Vanessa Bryant under unimaginable emotional duress.
Not only did Vanessa lose two of the closest members of her family, but she also had to worry about images of the victims’ bodies potentially being shared on the internet after Los Angeles County officials took unnecessary close-up photos at the crash scene.
Bryant’s wife sued the county for negligence and violating her right to privacy, winning $16 million in damages after the trial concluded earlier this week. And L.A. Times reporters Jill Cowan and Vin Jolly claim she will donate the proceeds from the ruling to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation:
Vanessa Bryant, widow of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, plans to donate the proceeds from the $16 million judgment she won Wednesday in a case against Los Angeles County to a foundation named in her husband’s and daughter’s memory, her attorney said Thursday.
The nonprofit Mamba and Mambacita Sports foundation offers sports education to underserved athletes. Started in 2016 as the Mamba Sports Foundation — Kobe Bryant’s nickname was Black Mamba — the charity was renamed in 2020 to honor the Bryants’ 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, a rising basketball star who died alongside her father in a helicopter crash that spurred the lawsuit against the county.
Vanessa said she would donate the money to the foundation “to shine a light on Kobe and Gigi’s legacy.” Initially launched in 2016 as the Mamba Sports Foundation, the nonprofit was renamed to its current name to further the legacy of both Kobe and Gianna, who was a rising basketball star.
Vanessa’s co-plaintiff, Chris Chester — who lost his daughter and wife in the crash — was awarded $15 million in damages.
LeBron James co-produces documentary on Team USA’s Redeem Team, with whom Bryant won his first Olympic gold in 2008
The Lakers faithful celebrates Kobe Bryant Day on Aug. 24, a date inspired by Kobe’s jersey numbers — which also comes the day after the legendary guard’s birthday.
But on the same day in 2008, Bryant won his first Olympic gold with Team USA, beating Spain in the final at the Games in Beijing. The victory came after the U.S. finished third in Athens four years earlier, inspiring the group’s nickname: the Redeem Team.
Netflix is working on a documentary about Team USA’s victory in Beijing, which will premiere in October. “The Redeem Team” is executive produced by LeBron James and Dwayne Wade, who led the U.S. to the 2008 Olympic gold alongside Bryant.
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