Mamba Academy's Alyssa Altobeli (L), Gianna Bryant (C) and Payton Chester were all named honorary draftees in the 2020 WNBA draft
Instagram/Mamba Sports Academy
Gigi Bryant, fallen teammates honored in WNBA draft
Luisa Morales ( - April 18, 2020 - 10:01am

MANILA, Philippines — The late Gigi Bryant, daughter of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, and two other Mamba Academy teammates were honored during the WNBA draft on Friday (Saturday in Manila).

Gigi, along with teammates Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester were all named honorary draft picks before the start of the digital 2020 draft where Oregon's Sabrina Ionescu, coincidentally a close friend of Gigi and Kobe, was drafted first by the New York Liberty.

Gigi, Altobelli and Chester were among the nine casualties involved in a tragic helicopter crash last January in Calabasas, California that also claimed the life of Kobe.

The 13-year-old Gigi was considered one of the brightest young stars of women's basketball and was even looked at as the future of the WNBA.

"These athletes represented the future of the WNBA — players who were following their passions, acquiring knowledge of the game, exhibiting skills that were way beyond their years," WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said.

"They represented the next generation of stars in our league, maybe what might have been called the 'Mambacita Generation'," she added.

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with