Fathers across the world are honoring Kobe Bryant by celebrating their relationships with their daughters.
Using the hashtag #GirlDad, men are sharing photos of themselves with their daughters as a way of remembering the 41-year-old NBA legend who recently died along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven other people in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.
Everything began with an ESPN segment in honor of Bryant's legacy. In it, anchor Elle Duncan recalled meeting the basketball superstar backstage at an event in New York. Duncan was eight months pregnant at the time, which made Bryant immediately ask how she was doing and whether she knew what she was having.Duncan said that after she told Bryant she was having a girl, he high-fived her saying, "Girls are the best." She then asked him – a father of four daughters – about having more girls in the family. "I would have five more girls if I could," Bryant responded, according to Duncan. "I am a girl dad."
Duncan also recalled how highly Bryant spoke of Gianna, who was dreaming about being a basketball player just like her dad. "He said that middle onewas a monster," Duncan said. "'She's a beast. She's better than I was at her age. She's got it.'"
Holding back her tears, Duncan said she took solace in Bryant enjoying his time with his daughters. "When I reflect on this tragedy and that half 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."
As the hashtag was going viral, Duncan tweeted that she was touched by the reaction of her story and encouraged everyone to keep sharing theirs. "I'm so moved by the outpouring of support behind my story about Kobe," she wrote. "And I love that #girldad is trending.. so for all those proud fathers who still have their girls to love on can you flood my timeline with pics of you and your flock."
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