Kobe and Gianna Bryant Statue Erected at Crash Site on 2nd Anniversary of Their Death

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Kobe and Gianna Bryant were memorialized in art on the two-year anniversary of their death. On Wednesday, artist Dan Medina erected a 160-pound bronze statue of the late Lakers legend and his 13-year-old daughter, at the site of the helicopter crash that killed them and seven others on Jan. 26. 2020.

The statue features the basketball star – wearing his number 24 Lakers jersey -- with his arm wrapped around his 13-year-old daughter’s shoulder. Gianna rocks her basketball uniform with the number 8. Both Kobe and his daughter are smiling.  

Across the front of the statue is the saying, “Heroes come and go, but legends are forever," along with the names of the seven other victims of the crash, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester and pilot Ara Zobayan. 

Medina told TMZ that the statue was only temporary, and that he planned to remove it at sundown. The artist also added that he hoped the city would allow him to do a more permanent tribute one day.  

Kobe, Gianna and the seven other victims were on their way to a teen basketball tournament at the Mamba Sports Academy when the private helicopter crashed.  

On Wednesday, which officially marked two years since the crash, Kobe’s closest friends, teammates and more paid tribute to the late icon and the rising basketball star. "Forever & Always in our hearts Kobe & Gigi #2 #24 ❤️ Love you @VanessaBryant @NataliaBryant," Ciara captioned an Instagram post on Wednesday. 

Kobe’s sister, Sharia Washington, honored her late brother and niece as well. "❤️❤️ 'It’s the one thing you can control. You are responsible for how people remember you — or don’t. So don’t take it lightly,” she wrote next to pictures of bracelets with her brother and niece's names. 

“If you do it right, your game will live on in others. You’ll be imitated and emulated by those you played with, those you played against and those who never saw you play at all. So leave everything on the court. Leave the game better than you found it. And when it comes time for you to leave, leave a legend.' #mamba #mambacita #belegendary 🕊🕊❤️❤️🐍🐍" 

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