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Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s Deaths Could Irreparably Damage Next Generation of Women’s Sports

Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant
Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna taking in a Lakers game prior to their devastating passing | Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

Perhaps the most traumatizing day in sports history unfolded on Sunday as news broke that NBA legend Kobe Bryant, along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna -- and seven other passengers -- perished in a helicopter crash outside of Los Angeles.

Roughly 24 hours later, most are still numb to the news and it genuinely seems like an impossible task to come to terms with the fact that they are no longer a part of this world.

In terms of legacies, Bryant's groundbreaking imprint will be commemorated until the end of time. However, the loss of him and "Gigi" could have irreparable repercussions on women's sports as a whole.

One could argue that Kobe was the first nationally-recognized superstar to embrace the WNBA. In his post-basketball life, the Black Mamba was often seen courtside with his family, waxing poetic in their direction so that they, one day, might boast a similar wisdom and commitment to changing the narrative surrounding women's sports.

Bryant already made an impact, but to think of the strides that he could have made in the years to come is one of the myriad of gutting domino effects that come with his passing.

Then, there's Gianna, the 13-year-old who had her father convinced she would one day grace the WNBA stage. Just imagine what that would've done for the sport. Imagine the sheer inspiration it would have imposed on a generation of girls aspiring to be professional athletes: Gigi Bryant taking the world by storm with her father, a global phenomenon, right alongside her.

It would have manifested a revolutionary breakthrough.

There's no doubting that Bryant's influence will be felt for eternity, but he was just beginning to scratch the surface on what would have been a trendsetting, colossal innovation. The fact that we will never get the chance to know what Kobe and Gigi could have done for women's sports makes their sudden passings all the more difficult to comprehend.