Thousands of people flocked to Staples Center on Monday for the public memorial service for Kobe and Gianna Bryant.
Gianna was determined to play college basketball at UConn, and both head coach Geno Auriemma and former Huskie Diana Taurasi spoke at Monday's service.
Auriemma spoke about how Kobe had become so invested while coaching Gianna's youth team. So much so that the legendary Laker would text Auriemma for advice on how to run drills and what he should be teaching on defense.
The UConn head coach also talked about what Kobe and Gianna's leagcies would be. Not only for a generation of young basketball players, but a generation of fathers, as well.
"No. 24, No. 8 and No. 2. Those are basketball numbers," Auriemma said. "Those are numbers in the past. Those are numbers that we're not going to get back. What we do have, is today how many numbers of kids like Diana have been inspired to do more, to work harder, to strive for more. The numbers we also have, is how many numbers of kids in the future, how many women, are going to be inspired by Gigi's life. How many fathers are inspired by Kobe to be fathers, to really be fathers, the way a father is supposed to be."
Taurasi fought back tears as she described her childhood as a young basketball player growing up in Los Angeles, cheering on her favorite player from home and, if she was lucky, live and in person.
"Watching Kobe play at the Great Western Forum as a rookie made this little girl believe she could be a Laker one day. It was like getting to know myself every single day. He made it ok to play with an edge that borderline crazy."
After going on to star at UConn, Taurasi has played for the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury since 2004. She recalled a story of when Gianna's team came to Phoenix and got to meet the Mercury.
"The last time I saw Gigi, the Mambas were in Phoenix for a big AAU tournament. Kobe brought them into the locker room to watch practice. I always remembered the look on Gigi's face. It was a look of excitement, a look of eblonging, a look of fierce determination."