LOS ANGELES, Calif. (CNN) — It’s been one year since basketball great Kobe Bryant died.
Bryant, his young daughter Gianna, and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash on January 26th of last year.
The seven others killed were Gianna’s teammate Payton and her mom Sarah Chester along with another teammate, Alyssa and her parents John and Keri Altobelli. Coach Christina Mauser and the pilot Ara Zobayan also died in the crash.
Despite the passage of time, Bryant’s teammates and loved ones say they are still coming to terms with the loss.
The same goes for countless fans around the world who had come to love Bryant over the years.
“I can’t fathom Vanessa’s pain, losing her husband and a daughter on the same day,” one mother said following his death.
She and her daughter were among the 350,000 people who gathered outside the Staples Center to remember Bryant days after he died.
For months following the tragedy, there were memorials and tributes to “The Black Mamba”
But this year, the Los Angeles Lakers, where Bryant played his entire 20-year NBA career, will not commemorate the tragic day.
A sentiment that pays respect to Bryant’s widow’s wishes.
On her Instagram, Vanessa Bryant shared a photo of “Kobe and Gigi,” asking people to celebrate their lives, not the day they died.
And that’s what Bryant’s friends, like Pau Gasol are doing.
The former Lakers player shared a softer side of Bryant most didn’t know about.
He shared that for an ESPN special.
“He was trying to be the best father in the world. He embraced his daughters,” Gasol said. “That kindness, that softness, the love from a dad to a daughter.”
#GirlDad is used on social media in honor of Bryant, because that’s how he described himself: a girl dad.
Dads everywhere are sharing photos of themselves with their daughters.
From famous dads like NFL quarterback Russell Wilson, to everyday dads like Lieutenant Casey Jiles celebrating with his daughter following in his footsteps.