Kobe Bryant is not the kind of man to simply sit on the sidelines. Since retiring he has created an animated movie that won an Oscar, piloted a film breakdown series with ESPN and, now, helped coach the basketball team of one of his his elder daughter, 12-year-old Gigi.
That’s Gigi in the highlight reel directly below, playing for her Mamba Sports Academy middle school team, part of the re-branded Mamba Sports Academy that her father has partnered with in Thousand Oaks, Calif. While there are numerous ways in which the new Mamba Sports Academy will build off of Bryant’s name recognition and personal passions and curiosities, none are more linear than the facility’s youth sports offerings, which his own daughter was happy to take advantage of.
Now, a few takeaways from Gigi Bryant’s filmed performance:
1) You know what? Homegirl is more than just a flashy name. She has a legitimate outside shot. That’s saying something, because again, she’s just 12. She also has the kind of ball handling and vision that belie her age and speak to her confidence. In short, she’s going to be a serious player.
2) Bryant isn’t short by any stretch, but she hasn’t grown into her father’s genes yet. And she should. Were betting that could still add serious inches, which would make her even more deadly in her swing(wo)man role.
3) Dad Kobe is a clapper. Suppose we should have seen that coming, though Kobe clapping as a guest coach for a middle school team is a different proposition than Kobe clapping as an NBA coach. We may never get to see that second prospect, which might be all for the best, particularly with respect to Kobe’s legacy.
Something tells us this isn’t the last time we see Gigi Bryant in action, just like we’ve spent year following Bronny James. Given her talent, that’s just fine by us, too.