Gianna Bryant, the Daughter of Kobe Who Also Perished in Crash, Among the Honorary WNBA Draft Picks

The Women's National Basketball Association began its 2020 virtual draft Friday night by announcing three honorary picks, which included the late Gianna Bryant, who perished in a January helicopter crash along with her father, former NBA star Kobe Bryant.

Gigi, as Gianna was best known, was announced as an honorary pick along with Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester, who were Gigi's teammates and who also died in the January 26 crash.

Gigi's mother, Vanessa, posted the piece to Instagram, and said it would have been a "dream come true" for Gigi to be drafted into the WNBA.

"It would have been a dream come true for her," Vanessa, said on ESPN.com. "Kobe and Gigi loved the WNBA. Thank you. I want to congratulate all of this year's draft picks. Congratulations. Work hard. Never settle. Use that Mamba Mentality."

All three girls honored Friday night were teammates, and all on the crash that killed nine people on January 26 outside of Los Angeles. Kobe Bryant was 41.

The WNBA, not long after the crash, said it would have a tribute to Gigi, who aspired to play in the league, before its 2020 draft.

The first pick taken overall by the New York Liberty in the draft Friday was Oregon guard Sabrina Ionescu, a friend of the family who spoke at the memorial for Kobe and Gigi. Ionescu is the only Division I college player (men's or women's) in history to score more than 2,000 points, grab 1,000 rebounds and dish out 1,000 assists in a career.

A tribute to Kobe and Gigi was also made at the 2020 NBA All-Star Game in Chicago during February, in which most of the pregame ceremony was dedicated to them including a stirring rendition of "For All We Know (We May Meet Again)" by Chicago native Jennifer Hudson while images of Kobe Bryant were shown in the background were shown at the United Center in Chicago.

Kobe and Gianna Bryant
Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant attend a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Atlanta Hawks at Staples Center on November 17, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

The NBA has been suspended indefinitely with the spreading of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus. The virus led to the abrupt halt of not only the NBA and its season and playoffs, but the start of WNBA's training camps and season start later this month and into May.

Coronavirus has halted sports around the world and in the United States. There is no timetable when sports will start back up. The only things taking place now are virtual workouts, and virtual drafts, like the WNBA's tonight and the scheduled NFL Draft next week.