Starting school! Vanessa Bryant took daughter Natalia to the University of Southern California on Wednesday, August 17, for the teenager’s freshman year.
“Today was rough,” the California native, 39, captioned an Instagram selfie with Natalia, 18, and her younger sisters, Bianka, 4, and Capri, 2. “This was before the tears came down. Missing forever. I Love you @nataliabryant. BE EPIC and FIGHT ON.”
Kobe Bryant’s widow and her children rocked USC clothing in the social media upload. Natalia, who had a mask pulled down below her chin, commented, “I love you!”
Vanessa continued documenting their goodbye via Instagram, including their final meal. “Fight On!!” she captioned a slideshow of family photos.
The teen committed to USC in March. “Tears of joy,” Vanessa captioned an Instagram video of her eldest jumping for joy over her acceptance letter at the time. “I’m SO happy for you Nani! I know Daddy is so PROUD OF YOU. I am so PROUD OF YOU!! Your hard work and dedication was so worth it. You pushed through the most excruciating pain imaginable, and you succeeded. I wish Daddy and [your late sister], Gigi, were physically here to celebrate but I know they’re here in spirit. We love you so much.”
She went on to joke, “Thank goodness you got in,” as she showed the balloons and custom shoes she had purchased for Natalia “in the hopes she got into her top school.”
Two months prior, Vanessa called NYU one of Natalia’s top choices. “@nataliabryant chose not to apply [early decision] to her top five schools,” she told her Instagram followers in January. “I will do my best to keep her in Cali just like I kept her daddy here. #CaliGirlForever.”
“Happy Birthday, Dad,” the then-high school student wrote via Instagram in August 2020. “I miss your smile, laugh and big bear hugs. Happy Birthday to the best movie buddy I could have ever asked for. I will always remember our late-night drives to the movie theater with the windows rolled down and listening to our favorite songs. I love you forever and always. Always, Slim.”
Keep scrolling to see Natalia’s emotional drop-off.