The photo — part of a collection of personal pictures included in a pamphlet passed out to attendees of Bryant and Gianna’s Celebration of Life on Monday — shows the NBA legend smiling proudly next to his daughter, who is beaming while wearing his Olympic gold medal.
The sweet picture is another example of the connection Bryant had with Gianna, who had dreams of following her father’s footsteps and playing professional basketball before the Jan. 26 helicopter crash that killed her, Bryant and seven others.
During Monday’s event at Staples Center, Vanessa Bryant made her first public appearance since the crash and gave a moving tribute to her daughter and husband.
“She had the best laugh,” Vanessa, 37, said. “It was infectious, it was pure and genuine. Kobe and Gianna naturally gravitated toward each other.”
“We will not be able to see Gianna go to high school with Natalia … we didn’t get the chance to teach her how to drive a car,” Vanessa continued during her speech. “I won’t be able to tell her how gorgeous she looks on her wedding day. I’ll never get to see my baby girl walk down the aisle, have a father-daughter dance with her daddy … or have babies of her own.”
Of her husband of 20 years, Vanessa called Kobe “the MVP of girl dads, or MVD,” and praised his “tender heart.”
“He never left the toilet seat up,” she said. “He always told the girls how beautiful and smart they are. He taught them how to be brave.”
The couple have three surviving daughters, Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and 7-month-old Capri.
The memorial, of which the date honors Gianna’s No. 2 jersey at the Mamba Sports Academy, and Kobe’s No. 24 in the latter half of Lakers career, also honored victims John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan.
Earlier this month, PEOPLE confirmed Kobe and Gianna were laid to rest. The date of disposition on death certificates obtained by PEOPLE was listed as February 7 at Pacific View Memorial Park and Mortuary in Corona Del Mar, California.
If you would like to help the families of the victims of the crash, consider donating to the Mamba on Three Fund. Contributions to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation will help support youth sports.