Pau Gasol Names Newborn After Kobe Bryant’s Daughter Gianna
Former Lakers player Pau Gasol shared a picture of his newborn daughter for this first time on his Instagram account on Sunday.
“Our little one has finally arrived!! The delivery went really well and we couldn’t be happier!! Elisabet Gianna Gasol, a very meaningful name for our super beautiful daughter!!” he captioned his picture.
The Spanish basketball player revealed two pictures within the post. The first shows him, his wife, Catherine McDonnell, and his newborn all holding hands. The second picture features Gasol alongside McDonnell smiling, as she holds her child in a hospital bed.
The two-time NBA champion shared the photos with his 1.6 million Instagram followers and can be viewed here. The pictures racked up over 300,000 likes and 7,000 comments within a day.
“Love you three!!!!” one person wrote.
“Happiest of happy!!!!! love you 3 so much!” another follower posted.
“Love you 3!!! Congratulations! Xo!” Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s wife, commented on the post. “So touched by your request to honor my Gigi.”
The couple also chose her to be the child’s godmother.
As reported by People, Gasol and Bryant were close friends and once played together for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Gasol’s baby girl’s middle name, Gianna, was chosen to honor Kobe Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant. Both Kobe and Gianna, along with seven others, passed away in a helicopter crash in January.
Throughout the year, Gasol has repeatedly taken actions to honor Kobe and Gianna. A few days after the initial accident occurred, the former Laker described the tragedy as a nightmare but vowed to remember Kobe in everything he did, as reported by Complex.
The former center recalled how difficult it was after initially hearing the news about the death of his former teammate. He described that his wife informed him as they were driving home together on January 26.
“I get home and I just started crying, it was hard to find words, I couldn’t talk to anyone for days,” Gasol said in a video interview shortly after the accident happened. “I basically didn’t leave the house.”
After growing so close with Kobe over years of playing together, Gasol felt it was crucial that he reach out to Vanessa after the crash occurred and offer support.
Bryant and Gasol first became teammates in 2008, after the 7-foot center was traded from the Memphis Grizzlies to the Los Angeles Lakers. Shortly after joining the team, Gasol and the Lakers were able to win two NBA championships, in 2009 and 2010.