Kobe Bryant’s daughter Natalia throws ceremonial first pitch as LA Dodgers celebrate Lakers night… with MLB stars paying tribute to late NBA legend
- The Dodgers chose to spotlight Kobe Bryant for this year’s annual ‘Lakers Night’
- Friday’s game was a battle of the top two ranked teams in the National League
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
Kobe Bryant’s eldest daughter Natalia Bryant threw out the first pitch prior to Friday night’s game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves.
The Dodgers were hosting their annual ‘Lakers Night’, paying tribute to the 17-time- NBA champions.
This year, LA choose to highlight Bryant specifically and fans who purchased a special ticket package received a black jersey with Dodgers and No. 8 on the front and Bryant and No. 24 on the back, the numbers Bryant wore during his 20-year career in Los Angeles.
Back in 2020, the basketball legend and his daughter Gianna were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in California.
The five-time NBA champion, who played for the LA Lakers throughout his career, threw the first pitch at Dodger Stadium back in 2000.
Kobe Bryant’s daughter Natalia threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Dodgers game
She shared a hug with Dodgers MVP candidate Mookie Bets as he wore a Kobe jersey
Two decades on, Natalia, a 20-year-old University of Southern California student, tossed the ball from in front of the mound.
It took one bounce and into the glove of All-Star Mookie Betts, who was handling catching duties. A smiling Natalia hugged Betts, who wore her father’s No. 24 jersey over his uniform.
Bryant was joined by her mother, Vanessa, and sisters, 6-year-old Bianka and 4-year-old Capri. They all wore Dodgers jerseys. The back of Vanessa’s read Queen Mamba, a nod to Kobe’s nickname. Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka also attended.
Bianka gave the traditional pre-game shout of ‘It’s time for Dodger baseball!’ with her mother and sisters at her side.
Natalia was joined by her mother, Vanessa, and sisters, 6-year-old Bianka and 4-year-old Capri
The Bryant family take their seats for the Dodgers’ game against the Braves on Friday
The Braves and Dodgers lined up along the first and third base sides, with the Dodgers wearing Lakers jerseys and fans chanting ‘Kobe! Kobe!’
Several Dodger players, including Betts and Jason Heyward, also honored the NBA legend prior to the game by wearing Bryant themed attire.
‘Being his daughter is one of the greatest joys of my life, and I hope to continue to embody and cherish the many lessons he has taught me,’ Natalia said earlier this year.
In an Instagram post that announced her appearance on Friday, Natalia was seen wearing a necklace which read ‘Slim’. She explained its significance last year.
‘This is a necklace that says ‘Slim.’ That was my nickname growing up,’ she said. ‘I was just so eency-teency. All my jerseys said slim. I didn’t grow into the jerseys until I was, like, older, so my dad would always call me Slim.’
The family settled into the owners’ box to watch the game and the Dodgers presented a $100,000 check to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, a nonprofit that provides funding and sports programming to underserved athletes.
The postgame drone show was scheduled to honor Bryant.