The Los Angeles Dodgers announced on Tuesday that the 20-year-old model, and daughter of the late Kobe Bryant, would take part in the event
The 20-year-old daughter of the late basketball legend will be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at the Los Angeles Dodgers annual "Lakers Night" on Sept. 1, the team announced in a post on X (formerly known as Twitter) Tuesday.
Join us for a special @Lakers Night on 9/1 with Natalia Bryant throwing out the ceremonial first pitch! 💙💜💛" the Los Angeles Dodgers post read, alongside a photograph of Natalia that was headlined "Lakers Night."
In 2020, Kobe tragically died in a helicopter crash at age 41 with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, Natalia's sister, along with seven others. Along with Natalia, Kobe is survived by two more daughters, Bianka, 6, and Capri, 4 — and his wife, Vanessa Bryant, 41.
Natalia — who also posted the news of her participation in the Sept. 1 event on her own Instagram page Tuesday — recently paid tribute to her dad on what would have been his 45th birthday. The model posted a sweet throwback photo of the athlete in a Dodgers hat and jersey, holding her when she was just a baby.
"Happy Birthday Daddy," she wrote in the caption of the Aug. 23 Instagram post, adding a heart.
Kobe — who played for the Los Angeles Lakers throughout his basketball career — was a huge Dodgers fan and according to a report from The Los Angeles Times, the baseball team will also be honoring the late athlete with a special Dodgers jersey on "Lakers Night."
According to the outlet, the black jersey — which will be given to fans who purchased a special event ticket package for the night, per the Dodger's website — features the two numbers Kobe wore during his 20 year career with the Lakers, with the number 8 on the front and the number 24 on the back.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 29, 2023
The Sept. 1 event will not be the first time Natalia has publicly celebrated her father. At a ceremony honoring Kobe in March 2023, Natalia said, "Being his daughter is one of the greatest joys of my life, and I hope to continue to embody and cherish the many lessons he has taught me."
When Natalia graduated from high school in 2021, she decorated her graduation cap with a quote from the superstar athlete that read, "Everything negative — pressure, challenges — is all an opportunity for me to rise." She now attends the University of Southern California.
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"I wanna show you my necklaces," Natalia announced for the style-focused piece. "This is a necklace that says 'Slim.' That was my nickname growing up. I was just so eency-teency. All my jerseys said slim. I didn't grow into the jerseys until I was, like, older. So my dad would always call me slim."
"I actually wear this medallion with me all the time," Natalia added. "And on it, I don't know if you can see it, but it says, 'Dedication makes dreams come true.' And it's a quote from my dad. So it's something that I live by."
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