Candace Parker Honors Gianna Bryant with Jersey Tribute — and Vanessa Bryant Loves It

The newest Aces star wore Gianna's jersey to the game at the Lakers' home arena

<p>Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty </p>

Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty

Candace Parker honored the late Gianna Bryant when she showed up to the Los Angeles Sparks arena for Thursday's game.

Parker, 37, wore a replica of Gianna's no. 2 Mamba Academy jersey while arriving at the game, which the Las Vegas Aces won 94-85 after a major comeback in the second half.

Sports Illustrated said the jersey was released in 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,' which he made popular before buying himself out of the contract with the shoe company in 2002, according to SI.

<p>Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty </p>

Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty

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Vanessa Bryant reacted to the sweet tribute at the Lakers' home arena, where the Los Angeles Sparks and L.A. Clippers also play, in her Instagram story after the game.

Vanessa, 40, posted the photo of Parker in the tunnel and wrote, "Gigi," with hearts around the jersey.

Related: NBA Hall-of-Famer Pau Gasol Named Recipient of 2023 Kobe & Gigi Bryant WNBA Advocacy Award

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

Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images
Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

Vanessa Bryant gave that touching tribute a social media shout-out as well, reposting the image alongside a sticker reading: “Hugs and kisses.”

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

In February, Parker told PEOPLE, "I just really think at this point in my career, to be able to compete for a championship and to do it in front of my family, is the most important."

Related: Candace Parker Talks Signing with Las Vegas Aces to Be Closer to Family: &#39;The Most Important&#39;

Parker's family is "West Coast-based," she said, and with her daughter Lailaa getting ready to start high school next year, the WNBA star looks forward to being closer to home in Las Vegas than when she played for the Chicago Sky.

Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images
Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

"I think first and foremost, it was to be able to get home and see her games and take her to school on off days; stuff like that while she's still in school," said Parker, who shares one-year-old son Airr Larry Petrakov Parker with her wife Anna Petrakov and is mom to Lailaa, 12, from a previous relationship.

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

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