Natalia Bryant calls Kobe Bryant 'the best girl dad ever' in Teen Vogue debut

By Christi Carras

Natalia Bryant recently opened up about the earth-shattering loss of her father, Kobe Bryant, and younger sister Gianna in her first major magazine profile.

In addition to posing for the September cover of Teen Vogue, the 18-year-old discussed her family, Southern California upbringing and aspirations after signing a modeling contract with talent agency IMG earlier this year.

"I love talking about my dad," Natalia Bryant said in an interview published Thursday. "It's bittersweet, but I enjoy talking about him more than it's sad for me."

About a month before 41-year-old Kobe and 13-year-old Gianna died in a Calabasas, California, helicopter crash, Natalia went to a midnight screening of "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" with her father.

While reminiscing about the moment for Teen Vogue, the USC freshman recalled asking her dad on the car ride home if they could begin a marathon of all the "Star Wars" movies that night.

"He was just like the best girl dad ever," she said. "He was just letting me play my playlist and jam out to Taylor Swift the whole ride back, and talk about 'Star Wars' too. It was so much fun. ... [Later,] I fell asleep during the first half of the [first] movie."

Before the sudden deaths of her sister and father, Natalia Bryant was playing "club volleyball with the intention of becoming a D1 athlete" in college, she told the fashion mag.

She fondly remembered falling in love with the game while attending the 2012 London Olympics with her mother, Vanessa Bryant, as well as sitting courtside at a USC-University of Oregon match with her father in 2019.

"That was an especially cool moment that I got to experience with him ... and watch two of the top teams," she said. "They were going at it. I was in awe watching them."

But after the helicopter accident, the Sage Hill high school student and varsity volleyball player quit her sport.

"[A] lot was going on at that time," she explained. "I knew I didn't … love volleyball as much as they love basketball. I'm OK with that."

Now, the eldest daughter of the Los Angeles Lakers legend is just beginning her modeling career and studying film — a passion she said she developed while spending quality time with her dad — at USC.

Outside of her work and studies, the teenager said she enjoys bonding with her mother and baby sisters, Bianka, 4, and Capri, 2. Asked how her family is coping less than two years after the crash, Natalia told Teen Vogue, "You do the best that you can."

"[For] my little sisters [we're] trying to keep that memory for them," she said. "And also just trying to remember to live out every day the way they would."

Read Natalia Bryant's full conversation with Teen Vogue at teenvoge.com.

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