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Vanessa Bryant Recalls Meeting Late Husband Kobe for the First Time in Sweet Throwback Photo

vanessa bryant first meeting kobe bryant throwback photo
Source: @vanessabryant/Instagram

Nov. 28 2023, Published 2:55 p.m. ET

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Like the number he used to wear on his jersey, Vanessa Bryant met the love of her life, Kobe Bryant, 24 years ago.

On Monday, November 27, the widow of the late NBA legend shared a throwback photo of the longtime lovers to honor the anniversary of the first day they met more than two decades ago.

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vanessa bryant first meeting kobe bryant throwback photo
Source: @vanessabryant/Instagram

Vanessa Bryant and her late husband, Kobe, first met on November 27, 1999.

"24 years ago…. Day 1. #1999 👑❤️ 11/27/99," Vanessa captioned the post, which was flooded with comments from their star-studded friends, including Alicia Keys, Kim Kardashian, Kris Jenner, La La Anthony, Lauren London, Alex Rodriguez and more.

In the heartwarming photograph, Vanessa and Kobe — who tied the knot in 2001 — both smiled wide with their arms around one another.

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vanessa bryant first meeting kobe bryant throwback photo
Source: @vanessabryant/Instagram

The longtime lovers tied the knot in 2001.

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The picture sweetly captured the start of the couple's love story, as they would go on to welcome Natalia, 20, Bianka, 6, Capri, 4, and Gianna — who devastatingly died by her father's side during a fatal helicopter crash in January 2020.

At the time of their deaths, Kobe was 41 while his and Vanessa's little girl was just 13 years old.

Five years before his untimely passing, Kobe opened up about his very first time meeting Vanessa during a video shoot in November 1999 — when he was pursuing a career in music before becoming one of basketball's greatest stars.

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vanessa bryant first meeting kobe bryant throwback photo
Source: @vanessabryant/Instagram

Kobe and Vanessa Bryant share four children together.

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"It was a two-day video shoot, and I was always looking for her. Like, I wanted to know where she was," the former Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard expressed during his 2015 documentary Kobe Bryant's Muse. "I would finish a take and then go to my trailer, but I'd wonder where she is the entire time and then come out of the trailer and just want to talk to her some more in between takes and stuff like that."

He continued: "She wrote her phone number down at the time when you had to still write phone numbers down, and I called her the very next day. We talked for hours."

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vanessa bryant first meeting kobe bryant throwback photo
Source: MEGA

Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna both died in a helicopter crash in January 2020.

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Since his sudden death, as well as Gianna's, Vanessa has honored every birthday, anniversary and special moment from the too-short time her loved ones did have on earth.

Most recently, the mom-of-four celebrated what would have been Kobe's 45th birthday with a doting tribute post.

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Source: OK!

"Happy 45th birthday, baby. I love you always & forever. ❤️," she captioned the upload alongside photos of the two loved-up throughout the years.

Vanessa similarly payed homage to her daughter on her birthday back in May, writing: "Happy 17th birthday, baby girl. I love you and miss you so much, sweet Angel."

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