Entertainment

Vanessa Bryant Celebrates Like A Proud Mom As Daughter Natalia Announces She’s Going To USC

The Bryant Family has been through a lot since losing the Black Mamba along with 13-year-old Gianna. But despite the trauma, they’ve been working hard to maintain a sense of normalcy for themselves and a huge part of that, for 18-year-old Natalia, has been getting into college.

Well, now Natalia along with her very proud mother and fans around the world are celebrating her accomplishments as she’s announced that she’s been accepted into the University of Southern California (USC.)

Kobe Bryant’s daughter Natalia is going to USC and her family couldn’t be more proud!

It looks like Kobe Bryant’s daughter is going to become a Trojan. Natalia Bryant was accepted into the University of Southern California on Tuesday to the excitement and delight of her closest family and friends. Vanessa Bryant shared emotional footage of the moment Natalia found out she got into the LA-based university and expressed her pride and joy in her oldest daughter.

“Tears of joy. I’m SO happy for you Nani! I know daddy is so PROUD OF YOU. I am so PROUD OF YOU!! Your hard work and dedication was so worth it,” Vanessa captioned the video.

“You pushed through the most excruciating pain imaginable and you succeeded. I wish Daddy and Gigi were physically here to celebrate but I know they’re here in spirit. We love you so much! #USC #Trojan #FightOn

Proud mamacita even had custom USC Black Mamba Nikes made for the celebration.

In the other Vanessa video, she showed off all the gifts she gave Natalia for the accomplishment, and they included balloons, USC swag and some custom Trojan-themed Kobe kicks.

Her USC acceptance comes on the heels of another big announcement for the 18-year-old.

The past few weeks have been full of great news for Natalia. She just recently announced that she had been accepted into both Loyola Marymount and University of Oregon, but recently confirmed she would be headed to USC in the fall.

“See You Soon @uscedu !❤️💛” she captioned a photo of herself wearing a USC baseball hat and shirt. “Fight On✌🏽”

And it was just a few weeks ago that news came that she signed with IMG Models.

“I have always been interested in fashion since a very young age,” Natalia said in a statement. “I have a love for the industry and ever since I can remember I wanted to model. There is a lot to learn but I feel this is a great opportunity for me to learn and express myself creatively.”

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Vanessa Bryant Ends Relationship With Nike After They Reportedly Low-Balled Her and Slacked On Kobe Products

Entertainment

Vanessa Bryant Ends Relationship With Nike After They Reportedly Low-Balled Her and Slacked On Kobe Products

Photo via Getty Images

On Tuesday, Kobe Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant announced that she chose not to renew the Bryant estate’s contract with Nike. Nike will no longer release Kobe products. Vanessa Bryant took to Twitter to announce the news.

In a statement, Vanessa Bryant said that she had been “hoping to forge a lifelong partnership with Nike that reflects my husband’s legacy.” But apparently, the brand didn’t want to play ball.

“Kobe and Nike have made some of the most beautiful basketball shoes of all time, worn and adored by fans and athletes in all sports across the globe,” Vanessa said. “It seems fitting that more NBA players wear my husband’s product than any other signature shoe.”

She continued: “My hope will always be to allow Kobe’s fans to get and wear his products. I will continue to fight for that. Kobe’s products sell out in seconds. That says everything. I was hoping to forge a lifelong partnership with Nike that reflects my husband’s legacy. We will always do everything we can to honor Kobe and Gigi’s legacies. That will never change.”

To some fans, Vanessa’s statement left them feeling like the Bryant estate and Nike ended on less-than-friendly terms.

https://twitter.com/NBAKicks/status/1381986843206373383?s=20

The specific language Vanessa used in the statement betrayed the fact that Nike didn’t offer the Bryant estate the contract that they had been hoping for. The fact that she said she had been “hoping to form a lifelong partnership” and she will “fight” for Kobe’s fans means that Nike fell short of her expectations.

Per ESPN, Nike presented Vanessa with a contract that “was not in line” with similar contracts they had offered comparable players, like Michael Jordan and LeBron James. So basically, Nike was trying to lowball Vanessa and the Bryant estate.

Insiders say that another reason that Vanessa declined to renew the partnership was because Nike was slacking on the Kobe line.

For a while now, customers have been struggling to find Kobe footwear products on the open market. Instead, they’ve been forced to buy the products at super-marked-up resell markets.

Also per ESPN: “Bryant and the estate had grown frustrated with Nike limiting the availability of Kobe products during his retirement and after his January 2020 death in a helicopter crash. There was also frustration with the lack of availability of Kobe footwear in kids’ sizes, according to sources.”

For the most part, Kobe fans rallied around Vanessa Bryant’s decision not to renew a partnership with Nike.

According to rumblings on Twitter, it appears that Nike was profiting off of Kobe Bryant’s death because of the large uptick in in sales after his death.

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The Bryant Family Has Filed Trademarks For ‘Mamba, Mambacita’ Amidst Apparel Line Reports

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The Bryant Family Has Filed Trademarks For ‘Mamba, Mambacita’ Amidst Apparel Line Reports

Elsa / Gelsons

Since the tragic deaths of her husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna Bryant, Vanessa Bryant has made her mission to secure and preserve their legacy an obvious one. From pursuing justice for theirs and the other victims of the helicopter crash that took their lives, to ensuring the creation of memorials in their name, Bryant has made a point of making sure none of the victims of the fateful crash are forgotten.

More recently, Vanessa Bryant has set out to protect the ‘Mamba’ brand.

According to a recent report, an attorney for Bryant filed a trademark application for ‘Mamba’ and ‘Mambacita’ in early March.

While there’s little known about what Bryant intends to do with the brand names, the report suggests that the current agenda is to use the trademark for merchandise such as shirts, hoodies, jackets, and pants.

Kobe’s estate has filed for several trademarks related to his brand including ‘Mamba Sports Academy,’ ‘Mambacita,’ ‘Lady Mambas,’ and ‘Lil Mambas.’ 

The association with Bryant and the “Mamba” concept goes back to his days on the court where he was affectionately known as the Black Mamba. Bryant gave himself the nickname after a period of struggle. In a 2015 documentary called Muse, Kobe explained that he created the alter ego of Black Mamba to cope with off-the-court struggles in 2003.

“I went from a person who was at the top of his game, had everything coming, to a year later, having absolutely no idea where life is going or if you are even going to be a part of life as we all know it,” Bryant explained in the documentary. “I had to separate myself… It felt like there were so many things coming at once. It was just becoming very, very confusing. I had to organize things. So I created The Black Mamba.”

The Mamba name carried into his retirement when he left the NBA after twenty years. At the time, Bryant set out to coach and mentor younger children interested in sports at the Mamba Sports Academy, a training facility that he opened in California. Bryant’s daughter Gianna, 13, was a member of the Mambas girl’s team.

When the Bryants’ daughter Gianna began to come into her own on the basketball court, she took on the nickname “Mambacita.” 

On a recent cover feature for People Magazine, Vanessa Bryant explained that she’s found motivation in her devastating loss.

During an interview for the magazine’s ‘Women Changing the World’ issue, Bryant revaled “This pain is unimaginable [but] you just have to get up and push forward. Lying in bed crying isn’t going to change the fact that my family will never be the same again. But getting out of bed and pushing forward is going to make the day better for my girls and for me. So that’s what I do.”

Bryant also recently reportedly took over Granity Studios, her husband’s multimedia company, and also relaunched Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation which is focused on “creating positive impact for underserved athletes and young women in sports” and “provides funding and sports programming for underserved athletes to enable participation in school and/or league sports that enrich socio-emotional and physical development.”

Speaking to People about her efforts, Bryant explained, “I guess the best way to describe it is that Kobe and Gigi motivate me to keep going. They inspire me to try harder and be better every day. Their love is unconditional and they motivate me in so many different ways.”

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