Natalia Bryant goes off to her senior prom

Natalia Bryant shows off her pretty pink dress on the way to prom

“Natalia almost missed her senior prom last night”

Just one night after accepting her father’s Hall of Fame jacket, Natalia Bryant flew back home to attend her senior prom. This week, she shared pictures of the special occasion, showing off the pretty pink dress she wore to completely steal the show.

Lakers legend Kobe Bryant was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame during a two-night event this past weekend, but his eldest daughter was only in attendance for the first night. After being postponed for six months due to the pandemic, the second night ended up falling on the same evening as Natalia’s senior prom.

While most would argue that the honor being bestowed upon the late icon is more important than going to a high school dance, it was imperative to her mom, Vanessa Bryant, that Natalia get to have an experience she missed out on--especially after experiencing so much loss already

In an Instagram post sending her off, Bryant revealed that she missed her own senior prom because she was already engaged to Kobe, telling a joke about her late husband laughing in heaven while still trying to keep his daughter away from boys.

“Natalia almost missed her senior prom last night,” she wrote on Instagram on Monday. ”When I was a senior in high school, Kobe and I were engaged and he had a playoff game the night of my prom. Kobe didn’t want me going to prom without him and I didn’t want to go without him. When we heard Natalia’s prom night and Kobe’s Hall of Fame night were on the same night, I looked at Natalia and said, ‘well if it’s any consolation, daddy kept me from going to my prom, so it’s only right that he tried to keep you from going to yours.’ 😃 Of course we laughed because even in heaven, he’s still trying to make moves and keep the boys away.”

She continued, “Natalia’s experienced so much loss, I couldn’t let her miss out on her once in a lifetime opportunity to go to her senior prom. Thank you for flying out to accept daddy’s Hall of Fame jacket and fly home the next morning.”

It looks like Natalia was more than happy to leave the Hall of Fame festivities early to attend her prom, going on to share photos and videos of herself all dressed up. The 18-year-old, who signed with IMG models earlier this year, was wearing a pretty pink off-the-shoulder dress along with some simple, natural makeup.

“Prom!” she wrote in her caption for one photo. In another, she thanked her aunt for helping her get ready for the occasion since her mother was still back in Massachusetts for the Hall of Fame festivities: “Getting ready for prom with Auntie Celi ♥️ I love you!”

“It takes a village,” Vanessa wrote in the comments, “I love you both so much. 😘❤️”