A touching recollection of a conversation between sports anchor Elle Duncan and the late Kobe Bryant has sparked a Twitter trend paying tribute to the legend and what he loved the most, being a father to his girls.
On-air recently, Duncan shared the story of the one time she met Bryant, backstage at an event for ESPN. She says she approached him to get a photo, but she was eight months pregnant at the time, and the basketball star immediately jumped in and began enthusiastically asking her questions, including what she was having.
“‘A girl,’ I said. And then he high-fived me, ‘Girls are the best!’”
She asked him for advice on raising a girl and here’s what Bryant had to say.
“Just be grateful that you’ve been given that gift, because girls are amazing.”
Bryant already had three girls at that point and shared that his wife wanted to try for a boy as well, but was concerned if she got pregnant again, it would be a fourth girl. Duncan asked him how he would feel if that were the case, and his answer was the best.
“I would have five more girls if I could. I’m a girl dad.”
Failing to hold back tears, as was the case for so many discussing the tragic deaths of everyone on that helicopter, Duncan admitted that the only sourced of comfort for her “was that he died doing what he loved the most, being a dad. Being a girl dad.”
Bryant’s passing has been difficult for fans across the world, and that the helicopter accident in which he died also claimed the life of his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, along with seven others, has made it all that much worse.
But Duncan’s story not only provided a small moment of comfort to those mourning the loss of Bryant, but it also inspired fathers of girls to share photos from their lives as #girldads.
The last time I remember John crying, aside from this week, was when Luna wrapped her little finger around his at the hospital when she was born. There really is something magical about girls and their dads. Thank you, @elleduncanESPN https://t.co/P4VL5Z8dC4 pic.twitter.com/hgWWB0DHcB— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) January 28, 2020
The hashtag became particularly meaningful for “girl dads” who work in the world of sports.
And Duncan had her own contribution to the tag, the very girl that sparked the entire conversation with Kobe, alongside her #girldad.
My fave #girldad. He really PLAYS w/ her, he teaches her how to flex, and often times serves as punching bag 2 her (seriously she ❤️ wrestling) and when he had to figure out how 2 get his fingers to work a tiny elastic so she could have ponytails- he nailed it!(After awhile)Omar pic.twitter.com/Q6O7IGX67K— Elle Duncan (@elleduncanESPN) January 30, 2020
It’s a fitting tribute to an icon who was known for his basketball skills, but will be remembered for so much more than that.