The WNBA honors Gigi Bryant ,Alyssa Altobelli, and Payton Chester before the 2020 draft . Gianna Bryant’s dream was to make it to the WNBA. The league honored that dream posthumously.
Gianna, along with her teammates Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester, were selected as honorary draft picks in Friday’s WNBA draft. Along with Kobe Bryant and 5 others ,the 3 girls were killed in a tragic helicopter crash earlier this year .
WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert announced the three picks in alphabetical order to start the virtual draft, and played messages from their three families.
“Thank you so much for honoring my Gigi and selecting her to be an honorary draft pick this year,” Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, said. “It would have been a dream come true for her. She worked tirelessly every single day. She wanted to be one of the greatest athletes of all time, just like her daddy. So thank you, thank you for honoring my little girl. Kobe and Gigi loved the WNBA. This is his sweatshirt.
“Thank you. I want to congratulate all of this year’s draft picks. So congratulations. Work hard. Never settle. Use that Mamba Mentality.”
Gianna had huge aspirations to play basketball at the collegiate level, and was reportedly “hellbent” on playing for Geno Auriemma at UConn. Altobelli and Chester also both had college dreams. It was reportedly Altobelli’s goal to play at Oregon.
The WNBA's incredible tribute to Alyssa Altobelli, Gianna Bryant and Payton Chester. pic.twitter.com/exxygT2dO4
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) April 17, 2020