An outpouring of love continues to flow on and off the court after the untimely death of retired NBA star Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others who were all aboard a helicopter that crashed on Sunday (Jan. 26).
Most recently, actress/singer Brandy Norwood took to Instagram as a way to publicly mourn the loss of the Los Angeles' Lakers star—who sadly lost his life at 41—as well as, send her condolences to Kobe’s wife Vanessa Bryant and their family.
"Never will I understand," Brandy, 40, captioned an Instagram photo of Kobe hugging Gianna. “My condolences to @vanessabryant, the entire family, and all in pain during this tragic time. Love ♥️ #Mamba #Mambacita.”
The post serves as the first time Brandy spoke about the passing of Kobe, who took the Moesha star as his date to his Lower Merion Township High School prom, back in May 1996.
Weeks before being drafted to the Lakers, the future NBA star wore a black tux with no tie, while Brandy styled with her signature braids and a sleeveless champagne Moschino dress—a dress she told TMZ she kept.
"He asked me to go to the prom with him, and since he was a nice guy...I asked my mom, and she said yes," Brandy told the New York Daily News in 1996.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported the rising stars met months before the event at a Nike All-Star basketball game in the city.
Brandy's mother, Sonja Norwood, told the Philadelphia Daily News the same year: “I said I don’t know this guy. I had no idea who he was. And then Brandy said, ‘He’s a basketball player.’ And I said, ‘So?’”
She added: “I liked that he had involved parents and he was doing well academically. He seemed to be a pretty good kid. He was levelheaded and grounded. And I said OK.”
The friends later attended several events together. Kobe even guest-starred in a 1996 episode Moesha.
Take a walk down memory lane below:
(Photo: Mirek Towski/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images)