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The WNBA Selected Gianna Bryant, Peyton Chester And Alyssa Altobelli As Honorary Draft Picks

With the world still on virtual lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, professional sports have been in a holding pattern, with all current seasons suspended until further notice as social distancing protocols remain in place in an effort to flatten the curve and stem the spread of COVID-19.

Transactions around most leagues have been put on hiatus as well, but on Friday night, the WNBA went ahead with their Draft, conducted virtually with most draftees celebrating their big via live feeds in their homes with their families. But before things got kicked off, the league made a remarkable gesture to honor the victims of a devastating tragedy earlier this year.

With the first three honorary picks, the WNBA drafted Gianna Bryant, Peyton Chester, And Alyssa Altobelli, who along with Kobe Bryant were among the nine people who died in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles earlier this year.

Gigi’s mom, Vanessa Bryant, posted an emotional video thanking the WNBA for giving her daughter such a beautiful memorial and talking about Gigi’s dream of one day making it to the league. Kobe and Vanessa’s daughter was quite the basketball player, and she had aspirations of one day suiting up for UConn.

All three girls were 13 years old at the time and would’ve been part of the 2024 class.