Kobe Bryant‘s 17-year-old daughter is named Natalia. She is the oldest daughter of the late NBA star, who died in a tragic helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on January 26 alongside his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, and seven other victims.
In addition to eldest daughters Natalia Diamante and Gianna Maria-Onore, Kobe and his wife Vanessa Bryant are parents to Bianka Bella, 3, and Capri Kobe Bryant, 8 months.
While he was born in Philadelphia and spent his teen years ruling the court at Lower Merion High School, Kobe lived in Italy for seven years as a young child and spoke fluent Italian. His love for Italy is evident in the names he and Vanessa chose for their daughters.
Natalia’s first name means “born on Christmas Day” and her middle name is “diamond” in Italian. Kobe and Vanessa also gave nicknames to all four of their daughters, and Natalia’s is “Nani.”
Natalia’s Birthday Is January 19 & She Celebrated Her 17th Birthday Just 1 Week Before Losing Her Dad & Her Younger Sister
Natalia Bryant was born on January 19, 2003. Just one week before his death, Kobe posted a gorgeous birthday photo of his eldest daughter to Instagram and wrote that she will always be his “Principessa.”
In 2018, when Natalia turned 15, Kobe captioned an Instagram photo of his “angel” Natalia in which he recalled her younger days.
“I remember the days when you would sit on my lap at post-game press conferences as if it was yesterday. You are a true blessing baby,” the Lakers legend wrote.
She Plays Volleyball
It’s no surprise that Kobe’s eldest daughter is an athlete. While her younger sister Gianna followed in their famous dad’s footsteps on the basketball court, Natalia is a seasoned volleyball player.
Natalia started playing competitive volleyball in her freshman year at her California high school, and by her sophomore year, the middle hitter helped her team win their second straight title, per the basketball fan site NBA Family.
Natalia also played volleyball at Mamba Volleyball Club, an Orange County club that was established by Kobe Bryant in 2018.
Kobe was a constant presence at his daughter’s volleyball games. A source told People that Kobe was “very proud” that both of his older girls were hardworking at school and at the sports that they loved.
“Natalia plays volleyball,” the source said. “Kobe often spoke about Natalia’s talent as well. He just loved them and was proud that both girls were focused, worked hard and were doing well.”
Natalia Looks Like Both Of Her Parents
At age 17, Natalia has inherited her mother’s gorgeous looks and love for all things “girly.”
“Vanessa is very girly so both older girls definitely mimicked after her,” the People insider said of Natalia and Gianna. “They have been into fashion and dressing up girly. But sports has been very important to them as well.”
While her mama’s gorgeous genes dominate in the looks department, Natalia also scored one of her famous father’s most notable traits: his height. In 2018, Vanessa posted a homecoming photo of then-15-year-old Natalia posing with Kobe, and she wrote that the teen was already 5-foot-9 without high heels on. Vanessa noted that her daughter has “legs for days” — and she has grown even taller since.