Candace Parker honors Gianna Bryant before Aces game in Los Angeles

Candace Parker honored the late Gianna Bryant when she appeared at the Los Angeles Sparks Stadium for Thursday’s game.

Parker, 37, wore a replica of the no. 2 Mamba Academy coming into the game, which the Las Vegas Aces won 94-85 after a great second-half comeback.

Sports Illustrated said the shirt was released in a limited edition earlier this month.

Parker, a close friend of the Bryant family, also honored Kobe by wearing a pair of retro Adidas Crazy 1 ‘Stormtrooper’ shoes, which he made popular before canceling the contract with the shoe company in 2002, according to YEAH.

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Vanessa Bryant reacted to the sweet tribute at the Lakers’ home stadium, where the Los Angeles Sparks and LA Clippers also play, on her Instagram story after the game.

Vanessa, 40, posted the photo of Parker in the tunnel and wrote “Gigi,” with hearts around the shirt.

The WNBA champion has honored Kobe and Gigi before. In 2020, Parker wrote the names of Kobe and Gigi, as well as “BT” or Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old emergency room technician who was fatally shot by police in March 2020.

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Vanessa Bryant also gave that touching tribute a shout out on social media, reposting the image along with a sticker that read, “Hugs and kisses.”

Parker signed a contract with the reigning champion Las Vegas Aces during the WNBA offseason.

In February, Parker told PEOPLE: “I really believe that at this point in my career, being able to compete for a championship, and doing it in front of my family, is the most important thing.”

Parker’s family is “based on the West Coast,” he said, and with daughter Lailaa preparing to start high school next year, the WNBA star hopes to be closer to home in Las Vegas than she was when she played for Chicago. Sky.

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“I think first and foremost, it was being able to come home and watch her games and take her to school on days off, things like that while she’s still in school,” said Parker, who shares 1-year-old son Airr. Larry Petrakov Parker with his wife Anna Petrakov and is the mother of Lailaa, 12, from a previous relationship.

Parker had 10 points, eight rebounds and an assist in Thursday’s win over the Sparks.