Vanessa Bryant posts tribute to Kobe on wedding anniversary


(Reuters) – Vanessa Bryant described her late husband Kobe as “my king” in a message posted on social media on Saturday on what would have been the couple’s wedding anniversary.

“My king, my heart, my best friend. Happy 19th wedding anniversary baby,” she wrote on Instagram to accompany a photo of the couple.

“I miss you so much. I wish you were here to hold me in your arms. I love you.”

Basketball superstar Kobe and one of the couple’s daughters, 13-year-old Gianna, were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in southern California on Jan. 26.

Kobe and Vanessa have three surviving daughters who were not on the helicopter.

Kobe, a five-times NBA champion, was a fierce advocate for women’s basketball.

He loomed large over the Women’s NBA draft on Friday, when commissioner Cathy Engelbert announced the new Kobe & Gigi Bryant WNBA Advocacy Award.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Toby Davis