The businesswoman, philanthropist and former model proudly shared her appreciation for her eldest daughter Natalia Bryant.
"You are what every parent hopes and prays for," Vanessa Bryant wrote on Instagram in celebration of her daughter's 21st birthday. "You are such a beautiful, strong, smart, loving young woman with the kindest soul and I am so proud to be your mommy!"
Natalia Bryant, who turned 21 on Jan. 19, 2024, is the eldest of the four daughters Vanessa Bryant shared with NBA star Kobe Bryant, who was killed in a helicopter crash in 2020.
Also killed in the helicopter crash was the Bryants' second eldest daughter, 13-year-old Gianna.
Vanessa Bryant was joined by Natalia Bryant and her two youngest daughters, Bianka and Capri, at a Los Angeles Lakers game celebrating a 19-foot bronze statue of Kobe Bryant that was unveiled by the Lakers on Feb. 8, 2024.
Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi are also immortalized in murals around the city of Los Angeles.
Prior to his death, Kobe Bryant spoke about the pride he felt in being the father of daughters.
ESPN reporter Elle Duncan said the NBA legend once high-fived her when she told him she was expecting a girl and told her, "Girls are the best ... Just be grateful you've been given that gift because girls are amazing."
Vanessa Bryant has said previously that her three surviving daughters gave her the strength to move forward after Kobe's and Gianna's deaths.
"My girls help me smile through the pain," she told People magazine in 2021. "They give me strength."
What to know about Kobe and Vanessa Bryant's four daughters
Natalia Bryant was born Jan. 19, 2003.
In addition to her current studies as a film major at the University of Southern California, Natalia Bryant is also a model.
The 21-year-old made her runway debut in September at the Versace Spring/Summer 2024 fashion show at Milan Fashion Week. In February, she shared on Instagram that she is also part of a modeling campaign with Victoria's Secret.
Last year, Natalia Bryant described her late father as the "MPV of girl dads" in a speech at a Hollywood ceremony held in his honor.
"While most people knew him as a basketball player or a storyteller, I got to know and love him as my dad," Natalia Bryant said. "And let me tell you, he is the MVP of girl dads, to say the least. Being a dad of four girls is definitely not easy, but despite the NBA and Lakers schedules, he always made sure to support me and my sisters."
A film major currently, she also attributed her love of cinema to her dad.
"One may wonder why I developed such a fondness for movies like 'Star Wars,' 'Harry Potter,' the complete Marvel universe and 'Goonies,' amongst many others," Natalia Bryant said. "Well, the reason behind it is that I watched all of these movies with my dad, and each of those memories I will never forget."
Gianna Bryant, called Gigi by her family, was born May 1, 2006.
The 13-year-old was said to be following in her dad's footsteps as a basketball player at the time of her death. Kobe and Gigi Bryant were on their way to a game at Bryant's Mamba Sports Academy when their helicopter crashed in Southern California on Jan. 26, 2020, killing all nine people onboard.
"They were so full of joy and adventure. God knew they couldn't be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to him together," Vanesa Bryant said of her husband and daughter at a public memorial following the crash. "Babe, you take care of our Gigi. And I got Nani, B.B. and Koko. We're still the best team."
In March 2020, Vanessa Bryant shared a video of her late husband gushing about Gianna, explaining that she asked him about the fundamentals of basketball and he taught her the game "piece by piece."
"It's been a joy to watch her grow and to be there every day for that process," Kobe Bryant says in the video. "Her temperament is a lot like mine. She's extremely competitive, very fiery, and backs down from no challenge ... she's a good mix of me and a good mix of her mama, so that makes her even more competitive than I am."
Bianka Bryant was born Dec. 5, 2016.
Bianka, now 7, got a moment in the spotlight earlier this year when she was chosen as the special fan who received Taylor Swift's hat during her performance of "22" at the first Los Angeles show of Swift's Eras Tour.
The two shared a huge hug before Swift gifted Bianka the black "22" hat inspired by her look in the "22" music video and planted a kiss on her cheek.
Vanessa Bryant shared the sweet moment on Instagram, captioning the photo, "We love you @taylorswift."
Capri Bryant was born June 20, 2019.
In 2023, the family celebrated Capri's fourth birthday with a trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, photos of which Vanessa Bryant shared on Instagram.