Having two daughters of her own, Michelle Obama knows that nothing is stronger than a mother’s love. That’s just one of the reasons she chose to show support for Vanessa Bryant and her late daughter, Gianna Bryant, by donning the recently-released ‘Mambacita’ sweatshirt.
Obama posted a picture wearing a more casual outfit than we’re used to seeing her in, looking simple yet stunning in the purple tie-dyed sweatshirt with “Mambacita” written across the front. In her caption, she wrote a heartfelt message to Vanessa, who lost her 13-year-old daughter, Gigi, and her husband, Kobe Byrant, in a fatal helicopter crash in January 2020.
“As a wife and mother, I have thought a lot about what Vanessa Bryant has been going through this past year,” the former First Lady of the United States wrote in her caption. “I was touched hearing her speak with such courage and strength this past weekend at the Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony honoring Kobe, and I am proud to join so many others in building upon Gianna’s legacy by supporting the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation.”
She continued, sending a personal message to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family: “@VanessaBryant, all my love to you and the girls and the next generation of athletes you are working to empower. #PlayGigisWay ❤️”
Vanessa took to the comment section to thank Mrs. Obama for her sweet message, writing, “This is so beautiful. I am truly touched. Thank you so much @michelleobama My love to you always. 🙏🏽💜.”
The sweatshirt Michelle Obama is wearing was released earlier this month in honor of Gianna’s 15th birthday on May 1. 100% of the proceeds from the sales of the merch--which also included sweatpants--go to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation.
Gigi’s nickname, Mambacita, was given to her in honor of father’s longtime alias, The Black Mamba. Inspired by the code name for a deadly assassin in Quentin Tarantino’s 2003 movie Kill Bill, Bryant adopted the nickname to separate his life on and off the court.
The Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation aims to provide underserved communities with sports programs that enrich their “socio-emotional and physical development.” It also allocates funding for athletes to join school or league teams, as well as sports programs that offer equal opportunities for young women.