The WNBA paid tribute to Gianna “GiGi” Bryant in a big way during the organization’s annual draft Friday by making her and fellow Mamba Academy teammates Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester the first three honorary 2020 draft picks.

“While it brings us pain not to see their dreams come to fruition, I’m grateful and proud to announce them tonight as honorary draft picks,” WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said during the Friday ceremony which was entirely virtual this year due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Bryant, Altobelli and Chester all had aspirations to play in the WNBA before their tragic deaths in a helicopter crash which took the lives of six others including NBA icon Kobe Bryant. Family members of the crash victims recorded thank you speeches for the honor including Vanessa Bryant who said her thank yous through tears while wearing a WNBA sweatshirt that belonged to her husband.

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