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Vanessa Bryant Renames Her Foundation in Honor of Daughter Gianna

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GETTY; VanessaBryant/Instagram

The Mamaba Sports Academy has been renamed to Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation.

Vanessa Bryant shared an Instagram post on Thursday explaining the significance behind the rename. She stated that although the official name has been changed, the foundation’s purpose has not.  “Our mission remains the same – and stronger than ever – to provide opportunities to young people through sports.”

The name of the foundation was inspired by the nickname Kobe Bryant gave himself, “The Black Mamba”. He created the name as an alter-ego in the early 2000s to separate himself from the struggles he was facing on and off the court.

“Mambacita” was Bryant’s daughter Gianna’s nickname. Vanessa Bryant wrote in the post, “Because there is no #24 without #2”, referring to Kobe’s number “24” on his jersey. Gianna wore the number “2” on her jersey in her youth games.

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The Instagram post shows the new logo of the foundation, displaying a pair of black angel wings and the Black Mamba symbol. Bryant ended the post by thanking everyone who has donated to the foundation. “We hope to empower young athletes in a world they left us all to help shape.”

Bryant and his daughter perished in a helicopter accident on January 26th. The helicopter was en route to a Mamba Sports Academy basketball game in Newbury Park. They were laid to rest last week in a private burial service in Orange County.