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Vanessa Bryant cuddles baby goddaughter named after her beloved Gigi – see photo

Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna sadly passed away one year ago

Ainhoa Barcelona

Vanessa Bryant has shared a bittersweet photo with her baby goddaughter Elisabet Gianna as she prepares to mark the one-year death anniversary of her husband Kobe and their teenage daughter Gianna, who was nicknamed Gigi.

The doting mum cuddled up to the four-month-old on Instagram, the daughter of Spanish basketball player Pau Gasol and his wife Catherine McDonell. Gazing down at the adorable tot, Vanessa captioned the picture "My goddaughter Ellie Gianna" alongside a red heart emoji.

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Pau and Catherine welcomed their baby girl in September, eight months after Kobe and Gigi were sadly killed in a helicopter crash. At the time, Pau tweeted: "Our little one has finally arrived!! The delivery went really well and we couldn't be happier!! Elisabet Gianna Gasol, a very meaningful name for our super beautiful daughter!! #girldad."

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Vanessa also took to Instagram to share how touched she was by the gesture, writing: "My goddaughter is here!!!! Congratulations @paugasol @catmcdonnell7 Love you 3 so much! So touched by your request to honor my Gigi. Can't wait to hold Elisabet Gianna Gasol."

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Vanessa with her goddaughter Elisabet Gianna

Vanessa, 38, sadly lost her husband Kobe and their daughter Gigi on 26 January 2020 when the pair were involved in a helicopter crash in California. Vanessa is also the mother to Natalia, 18, Bianka, four, and one-year-old baby Capri.

Ahead of Kobe and Gigi's death anniversary on Tuesday, the doting mother made a plea to fans and the press to show respect when posting tributes. She penned: "Dear media, please be considerate when airing or posting remembrance footage. We ask that you do not air photos of the wreckage, helicopter in the air or accident scene. We do NOT want to see it. Our year has been traumatic enough.

Pau and Catherine welcomed their daughter in September 2020

"You have thousands of photos and videos you can show beside footage of 1/26/20. We hope videos of remembrance are done in a classy and tasteful manner that is respectful of all our losses. Thank you."

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