Kobe Bryant’s daughter Natalia throws ceremonial first pitch as LA Dodgers celebrate Lakers night… with MLB stars paying tribute to late NBA legend
Kobe Bryant’s daughter Natalia throws out ceremonial first pitch as LA Dodgers celebrate Lakers night…with MLB stars paying tribute to late NBA legend
- The Dodgers chose to spotlight Kobe Bryant during this year’s annual “Lakers Night.”
- Friday’s game was a battle between the top two ranked teams in the National League
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
Kobe Bryant’s oldest daughter Natalia Bryant threw out the first pitch ahead of Friday night’s game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves.
The Dodgers hosted their annual “Lakers Night,” honoring the 17-time NBA champions.
This year LA chose to highlight Bryant specifically and fans who purchased a special ticket package received a black jersey with Dodgers and No. 8 on the front and Bryant and No. 24 on the back, the numbers Bryant wore during his 20-year career in Los Angeles.
In 2020, the basketball legend and his daughter Gianna were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in California.
The five-time NBA champion, who played his entire career for the LA Lakers, threw out the first pitch at Dodger Stadium in 2000.
Kobe Bryant’s daughter Natalia threw out the ceremonial first pitch in the Dodgers game
She shared a hug with Dodgers MVP candidate Mookie Bets while wearing a Kobe jersey
Twenty years later, Natalia, a 20-year-old student at the University of Southern California, threw the ball from in front of the mound.
It took one jump and it landed in the glove of All-Star Mookie Betts, who handled the catching duties. A smiling Natalia hugged Betts, who wore her father’s No. 24 jersey over his uniform.
Bryant was accompanied by her mother, Vanessa, and sisters, 6-year-old Bianka and 4-year-old Capri. They all wore Dodgers jerseys. Vanessa’s back read Queen Mamba, a nod to Kobe’s nickname. Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka was also in attendance.
Bianka let out the traditional pre-game cry, “It’s Dodger baseball time!” with her mother and sisters by her side.
Natalia was accompanied by her mother, Vanessa, and sisters, 6-year-old Bianka and 4-year-old Capri
The Bryant family settles in for Friday’s Dodgers vs. Braves game
The Braves and Dodgers lined up past first and third base, with the Dodgers wearing Lakers jerseys and fans chanting ‘Kobe! Kobe!’
Several Dodger players, including Betts and Jason Heyward, also honored the NBA legend ahead of the game by donning Bryant-themed clothing.
“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 taught me,” Natalia said earlier this year.
In an Instagram post announcing her Friday appearance, Natalia was seen wearing a necklace that read “Slim.” Last year she explained its meaning.
“This is a necklace that says ‘Slim’. That was my nickname growing up,” she said. “I was just so teenage. All my sweaters said slim. I didn’t grow into the sweaters until I was a little older, so my dad always called me Slim.’
The family snuggled into the owners’ box to watch the game, and the Dodgers presented a $100,000 check to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides funding and sports programs to underserved athletes.
The postgame drone show was planned in honor of Bryant.