Gianna Bryant Honored by School She Dreamed of Playing Basketball For

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The University of Connecticut women's basketball team paid tribute to Gianna Bryant Monday by laying out a UConn Husky jersey with the 13-year-old girl's number, 2, and a bouquet of flowers at their game Monday. 

Kobe Bryant’s second eldest daughter, known as "Gigi," dreamed of playing basketball for the school one day. She, her father and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash Sunday in Calabasas, California.

"Mambacita is forever a husky," the team wrote alongside the photo shared on social media. 

The team also shared a message about Bryant and Gianna’s deaths

"Kobe and Gianna meant a lot to our program. Our thoughts are with the Bryant family," the team said. "Mamba Mentality will live on forever, but they are deeply missed."

The seven others aboard the helicopter have been identified as: John Altobelli, a head baseball coach at Orange Coast College, his wife, Keri, and daughter, 13-year-old Alyssa, Gianna’s basketball coach Christina Mauser, mother and daughter Sara and Payton Chester, and the helicopter pilot Ara Zobayan.

Mauser’s husband, Mathew Mauser, said in an interview with ABC News that telling his three children that their mother died has been the "hardest thing I’ve ever done."

Their children are ages 3, 9, 11.

"How do you tell a child their mommy's no longer with us?" he said. "They screamed, they yelled. And I just held them."

Matthew continued on to say he wanted more time with her. He also added that he was "always nervous" about his wife riding in Bryant’s helicopter, but he wanted "to support" her.  

"Kobe didn't pick my wife because she was average," Matthew said. "She was exceptional." 


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