'Girl Dad' Kobe Bryant Tribute Inspires Fathers to Celebrate Their Daughters | 22 Words

On Sunday morning, the shocking news came in that the legendary NBA player, Kobe Bryant, had died in a helicopter crash. He was just forty-one-years-old.

The world has been in mourning ever since the tragedy, and people have been remembering him for his legendary moments on and off the court.

Though he was best known for his skills on the basketball court, many have been remembering him for being a down-to-earth family man, and have been reminiscing about some of the best things he had to say about his daughters and life as a dad.

Scroll to the end to watch what one ESPN anchor said on SportsCenter and why this has inspired other "girl dads" to celebrate their daughters.

Kobe Bryant tragically died in a helicopter crash yesterday morning.

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The NBA star's private helicopter crashed in Calabasas, TMZ sports confirmed.

Kobe was known for opting to use a helicopter for travel...

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But tragically, on this occasion, his private helicopter went down and a "fire broke out."

During a press conference, it was confirmed there were no survivors.

And, in total, 9 bodies were found at the scene.

It is utterly devastating news...

Kobe leaves behind his wife and their 4 daughters.

And, even more devastatingly so...

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One of Bryant's daughters, Gianna, was also on board the helicopter at the time of the crash.

Gianna Bryant, aged only thirteen, passed away in the tragedy.

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TMZ Sports reports that Gianna died in the crash alongside her dad.

It is an unimaginable loss for the Bryant family.

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It is believed that the father and daughter were on their way to the Mamba Academy for Gianna’s basketball practice, nearby Thousand Oaks.

Gianna was a budding basketball star...

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And was due to play in the tournament, while her dad coached the team.

Gianna shared her dad's passion for the game...

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And the teenager had reportedly dreamed of following on in his footsteps by one day becoming a professional basketball player herself.

And Kobe fully supported his daughter's passion.

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He would regularly take her along to women's basketball games, as well as taking her to and coaching her throughout her own games.

The world has gone into mourning...

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And people have been coming together to remember the NBA legend's finest moments.

Off the court...

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Kobe was a down-to-earth family man.

The Lakers player married his high school sweetheart, Vanessa, back in 2001...

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And they went on to have 4 daughters together - Natalia, Gianna, Bianka, and Capri.

They became the most idyllic family.

And it is completely heartwrenching that they have been torn apart in such a brutal way.

Kobe was one proud dad...

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And he would regularly gush about his daughters in both TV interviews and his social media posts. Keep reading to see some of his best quotes about his daughters and life as a father to 4 daughters...

1. Gianna's 12th birthday post.

Taking to Instagram, the prideful dad wrote: "We are so proud of you! From the classroom to the court. We love you more than you could ever imagine. #hardworkdreamwork."

2. "Daddy the Elephant for our little Bianka."

"She understands a bunch of words already, the challenge now is getting her to speak in complete full crystal clear sentences," Kobe captioned an Instagram video in January 2018 of himself and Bianka making elephant noises and motions. "She already has plenty of words in her vocab."

3. Discussing being the only male in an all-female household.

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In July 2017, Kobe gushed about his all-female household. "My friends say, ‘It takes a real man to make a boy,'" he told Extra. “I’m like, ‘Dude, it takes a king to make a princess. Get in line.’"

4. He always prioritized his family over his career.

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In a 2019 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Kobe discussed how he would always choose his family over basketball. "I have a life and I have my routine at home... It’s not that I don’t want to go [to Lakers games] but I’d rather be giving [Bianka] a shower and sing Barney songs to her." "I want to make sure the days that I’m away from them are days that I absolutely have to be. I’d rather be with them than doing anything else."

5. Kobe couldn't hide his pride when it came to Gianna's skills and "curiosity" on the court.

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Speaking to the Los Angeles Times in the same interview, the proud dad gushed: "What I love about Gigi is her curiosity about the game. She’s very curious. Even in a heated situation in a game where it’s going back and forth, she can detach herself and come to me and ask a very specific question, which is not common." "She’ll come over and say, ‘OK, on this particular trap when I’m trying to close the gap but she’s getting on the outside, do I need to change my angle?’ It’s a very specific question. That’s pretty damn cool."

6. And he just loved coaching GiGi.

"We haven't had any issues of dad-daughter sort of thing," Kobe told Entertainment Tonight of coaching Gianna in December 2018. "She's very competitive and she's a hard worker, so there haven't been any issues with that."

7. He had opened up about Vanessa's desire to have a baby boy... But he just loved having daughters.

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Speaking to Extra in March 2019, Kobe explained, "I love having girls - I’m super, super excited about that. She is as well. She wanted a boy so he can be mama’s boy forever — that sort of thing." "We’ll see if I can deliver, I don’t know. She’s like, ‘You go see if you can hit a clutch shot. You gave me all the girls, let’s see if you can bring a boy!’ Nope, not yet. We’ll see."

8. Kobe once opened up about his love of wholesome family Christmas traditions...

And their annual gingerbread house making. Taking to Instagram, he wrote: "Every year, we go and watch The Nutcracker. Every single year...We also watch Home AloneCharlie Brown, all the Christmas classics. We try to make a gingerbread house, but my wife and the kids do a much, much better job than I do! I'll put it that way."

9. He revealed in 2018 that he uses helicopters so frequently as not to miss out on seeing his daughters.

Explaining to Alex Rodriguez, Kobe said, "I was sitting in traffic and wound up missing, like, the school play because I was sitting in traffic. These things just kept mounting," he said at the time. "And I had to figure out a way where I could still train and focus on the craft, but still not compromise family time. That’s when I looked into helicopters to be able to get down and back in 15 minutes, and that’s how it started."

10. He wanted his kids to strive for excellence.

"We try to teach the kids what excellence looks like. We try to give them a foundation for the amount of work that it takes to be excellent. Playing basketball, we’re going to focus on the details. We’re going to learn the basics, learn the fundamentals and do those things over and over."

Bryant was a proud "Girl Dad."

News anchor, Elle Duncan, broke down on SportsCenter as she talked about Bryant's love for his family.

Duncan decided to share her encounter with Bryant.

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Duncan began her anecdote by talking about the time she met Bryant backstage at an ESPN event.

She admitted she wanted "a picture "for the gram."'

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However, when they first met, Bryant noticed something more important he had to discuss.

Bryant noticed her "rather large eight-month pregnant belly."

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He began to pepper Duncan with endless questions about her pregnancy, including if she knew what the sex of the baby was.

She told him that she was having a girl.

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Bryant was overjoyed, excitedly offered a high-five and said: "girls are the best."

She asked for his advice on raising girls.

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His daughter Bianka was a year and a half at the time. He said, "Just be grateful that you’ve been given that gift because girls are amazing."

Duncan asked him if he wanted any more children.

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He responded that his wife Vanessa wanted to try for a boy, but said "jokingly" that she was concerned it would be another girl.

She went on to ask what he thought of raising 4 girls.

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"Without hesitation," he said he'd “have five more girls if I could. I’m a girl dad." Their youngest Capri was born in 2019.

Duncan began to choke up.

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She said that Bryant began to talk about his daughters' athletic abilities. It's what he said about Gianna that made Duncan's voice shake.

“She’s a monster, a beast, she’s better than I was at her age on the basketball court," Duncan said Bryant told her.

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With tears in her eyes, Duncan concluded, “When I reflect on the tragedy and the half an hour I spent with Kobe Bryant two years ago, I suppose the only small source of comfort for me is knowing he died doing what he loved the most. Being a dad. Being a girl dad." Keep scrolling to watch the emotional clip.

Duncan's touching anecdote has inspired other "girl dads" to celebrate their daughters.

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People have been responding to Duncan's story with the hashtag #girldad, including many men who admit to being proud "girl dads" too.

Dads have been tweeting heartwarming messages dedicated to their daughters.

We're welling up just reading them.

For many, the Kobe Bryant tragedy has hit close to home.

"Love you Kobe miss you mamba."

Kobe's message resonated with many fathers.

"I wouldn't change it for anything in the world."

The pictures are utterly adorable.

And the hashtag is filled with heartwarming messages.

This proud father gushed over his daughter in the tweet.

"Truly most important woman in my life. Proud of who she is and who she is becoming."

This one is so sweet...

We're not crying, you're crying.

"The greatest gift any man could hope for."

This one hit us right in the feels.

This dad shared a touching message about his daughter, named Gianna, just like Kobe's.

"She's the light in my life."

This one is a real tear-jerker.

So wholesome.

Another shared how he cherishes every day with his daughter.

He then gave a nod to the touching clip that inspired the trend.

Watch the emotional clip that sparked the #girldad trend below:

R.I.P to all those who died in Sunday's horrific tragedy. To read more on how fans are mourning the tragic loss of the victims, keep scrolling.